07 August 2013

Little Star ~ John Ajvide Lindqvist

*** LIKE ***

All The Birds, Singing ~ Evie Wyld

** OK **

More like a cacophony than birds singing
Disjointed storyline that jars.

I like a broken timeline, putting the past in perspective with the present, but with this novel it was like jagged edges.  It was almost as if the author had written a linear narrative but taken to the manuscript with scissors and reconstructed the fragments. Rather than a slow suspense-building reveal, with the sins and horrors of the past coming to torment the present, it skated around shards of story poking through the fabric of the narrative.

The language provides menacing characters and locations and the narrative provides suspense and threat.  Interest is maintained because, even though there is a rather unrelenting bleakness, you are drawn in to the mystery and touched by Jake's toughness.

A lot is left unrevealed for the reader to speculate about.  Fine, but ultimately I ended up dissatisfied with the lack of a conclusion; it was almost as if the author was being too clever to finish off her own narrative.

06 August 2013

Orkney ~ Amy Sackville


Felt like I was chewing the same thing over and over
Lyrical but lacking

The setting was superb.  The concept was poetic.  The execution was repetitively shallow, repetitive monochrome, repetitively boring.  There were some evocative descriptive passages but of the same things - maybe to back up the theme of infatuation and obsession?

I can see how it was meant to be mystically etherial but the daydream-like quality became too much waffle.  Instead of poignantly compelling, it lacked intensity, dulled by the lack of plot and lack of character development.

05 August 2013

Wake In Fright ~ Kenneth Cook

**** RECOMMEND ****

As the narrative unravels, so does his life
Wake in fright and live the nightmare!

This is a compelling and disturbing read.  It is realistic, all too easy to imagine.  The harshness of the setting is a contrast to the naivete of the main character.

The narrative is as lean and sparse as the bleak landscape.  The hero seems abandoned and surrounded by rough characters, inferred violence and imagined horrors.  As you read you wait for the next turn-for-the-worst that his life is going to take, and the fact that you feel disaster's inevitability adds to the suspense. His path to destruction is unrelenting and unforgiving.

04 August 2013

Storm Boy ~ Colin Thiele

** OK **

Pure and simple
An old time classic

This is a short children's novel.  It would be great for poor readers.  It doesn't push any boundaries as far as vocabulary or language devices.  I actually found it a bit lacking in descriptive qualities.  It tells a story and does that in the briefest and most superficial way.

It hasn't aged well.  But I can see that it would make a great movie (must see it some time!)

Pre-trip reading before heading to the Coorong.