Following the appearance of a mysterious stranger, the entire population of a secluded island disappears.
Please note that I am reviewing an excerpt provided by Netgalley, the first 10 chapters of this book.
I have to start by mentioning that the bit I have read could clearly use some editing. There were mainly issues with verb tenses switching to present while the book is narrated in past tense and also some repetitions.
Examples from the first chapter:
It bothers him that nobody else got this warning vibe, not even his old friend Ray Powell – retired lawyer, runs Kraventown from behind the scenes.
And right in the next chapter:
It bothers him that nobody else got that warning vibe, not even meticulous Ray.
There is also repetition concerning why Davy took up architecture (this is just in the first chapter, there is more later) and then this: Davy snapped around in a full 360, glaring. Pretty sure the author means 180 degrees, as a 360 would land the character in precisely the same spot.
Now, onto the writing. I wish I had some sort of basis for comparison, but the fact is I have never read anything like this. To be frank, the style did not particularly appeal to me. I can’t put my my finger on why exactly. Heck, maybe other folks will find it brilliant, but I am a simple gal and just prefer more clean, straight forward writing.
In the excerpt I read we are introduced to three voices: Davy, his girlfriend Merrill and her brother Ned.
When I read the first chapter I was like… What the heck is this? It felt like Davy was trying to act all tough, I don’t even know what kind of attitude that was, but that first bit when the new guy comes in town and I didn’t even get a feeling of who anyone is – that first chapter is riddled with mind games where the two characters seem to try to ascertain that they are the top dog in the business; in all dialogue and his own thoughts, the main character wants to come out on top of his rival, always outsmart him. He obviously developed quite a grudge towards the guy and I could not really tell why since they never even met. It’s like he hated the idea of him, not exactly the guy? I don’t know.
As for the story, in those first ten chapters a lot seemed to be said but not much to be going on, maybe because I felt like I was being told every single thought that went through the characters’ minds, which did not necessarily mean I felt more connected to them.
Davy went out to meet the stranger and, when the guy does not show up, he tries to go back home and cannot, everything is blocked by uniformed agents. You see, everyone on his island has disappeared and so the place is pretty much under quarantine. Then we hear from Merrill and Ned in the place where they wake up, whatever it is. Nifty descriptions, for sure, just a bit chaotic, in a jumbled sort of way.
The cover is just gorgeous. The book is definitely very different from everything else I have read. I just don’t know if I enjoy it yet, it really depends on the rest of the narrative. So I will rate this excerpt halfway, at 2.5 stars.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free excerpt of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from April 12 to 14, 2015