[Review] Backward Glass – David Lomax

Book Title:                       Backward Glass (Standalone)
Author:                              David Lomax
Number of pages:      
315

Synopsis:david lomax - backward glass (cover)

Crack your head, knock you dead, then Prince Harming’s hunger’s fed.

It’s 1977, and Kenny Maxwell is dreading the move away from his friends. But then, behind the walls of his family’s new falling-apart Victorian home, he finds something incredible–a mummified baby and a note: “Help me make it not happen, Kenny. Help me stop him.”

Shortly afterwards, a beautiful girl named Luka shows up. She introduces Kenny to the backward glass, a mirror that allows them to travel through time. Meeting other “mirror kids” in the past and future is exciting, but there’s also danger. The urban legend of Prince Harming, who kidnaps and kills children, is true–and he’s hunting them. When Kenny gets stranded in the past, he must find the courage to answer a call for help, change the fate of a baby–and confront his own destiny.

(re: Goodreads @ Backward Glass by David Lomax)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
  • If time-travelling is your niche, this is a pretty stellar read.
  • A suspenseful, thought-provoking literary piece that will have you trying to fit the pieces of a puzzle.
  • Characters are generally relatable and can be rooted for.
  • Definite information overload (and voids) at times that with persistence will come full circle; hard work pays off.
Initial Thoughts:

What the (expletive goes here) am I reading?

That was me with this book. And by no means is this a bad thing. Nah. I was totally reeling in how intricate all the pieces ended up fitting together in this narrative. Everything was definitely thought through: from the nuances in dialogue to the historical inclusions (c’mon, this dude referenced Star Wars and Nintendo—so many feels, and yes I classify these as historical. Problem?). So for his debut novel (at least I think so) Backward Glass is great for all the right reasons.

Honestly though, I felt like I was reading some sci-fi mystery with tinges of Criminal Minds going on: having to profile the shit out of everyone and everything all for a long deceased baby. But wait, time traveling, changing history; all that good stuff to start the whirlwind of Kenny’s mission and by proxy the plot. So despite many aspects being cryptic and seemingly confusing at times, the journey was quite thought-provoking. But I’d like to think that it was value-added to the story telling so all my grief in note taking was well worth it.

Enough about the overall, let’s start with the basics:

The opening line in the synopsis is so eerie to me; it’s (another expletive goes here) children’s rhyme. That is just dandy. Imagine if you heard that while walking through a porcelain doll shop (in a child’s voice no less). I’d shit myself. The rest of the synopsis presented itself to me like the childhood television show: ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?” which is awesome in its own right. The spook and thrilling factor was enough to get me to pick this book up. And then it begins with a page of (time-travel) rules that provided no context but hit all the marks of intrigue and confusion that essentially pulls you right into this story.

It’s pretty difficult to review this novel without giving away too many spoilers, but I’ll try my best despite not having too many issues with this well crafted novel.

Let me elaborate on all of this:

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] Backward Glass – David Lomax

[Review] The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

Book Title:                    The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave Series #01)
Author:                            Rick Yancey
Number of pages:    457

Synopsis:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

(re: Goodreads @ The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
  • The world and plot is quite familiar – aliens, post-apocalypse, aliens, world domination, romance. Cool beans.
  • Story-telling through varying perspectives; a mix of characterisations (fresh and prototypical).
  • The writing is purposeful, connected, and tension-seeking even in downtime.
  • Formulaic YA romance; which ship to sail on?
Initial Thoughts:

I know what you’re thinking: a narrative similar to Meyer’s ‘The Host’. And you’re absolutely right. And wrong. At the same time. Page turn. But it takes the alien invasion we know so well—sort of well, and integrates it’s own spin on things.

Oh. The feeling of staccatos above is just how many sections read. You can love or hate it, but I wasn’t too bothered by it.

With trending YA post-apocalyptic dystopian literature, it is relevance that makes this genre of narratives all the more compelling and frightening. Relevance to world-building (especially if it’s of a contemporary nature); relevance to human dynamics; and relevance depicted through multifaceted storytelling. My superficial expectations.

So does the 5th Wave’s initial instalment hit most of the marks? Yes and no.

I’ll tell you why.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

[Review] More Than This – Patrick Ness

Book Title:                     More Than This (Standalone)
Author:                            
Patrick Ness
Number of pages:     480

Synopsis:

From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .

(re: Goodreads @ More Than This by Patrick Ness)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
  • Myriad of interwoven genres.
  • Characters are interesting, fun, and you can empathize with them.
  • Undertones of philosophical and modern issues; life-lessons to be considered.
  • The world building is unassuming but peaks with suspense at the right moments.
  • The writing. Just that.
Initial Thoughts:

I was immediately drawn to this book as an answer to the question: what’s beyond the white light? It’s apparently a world of vintage memories and unnerving solitude. But is that it? Maybe. But probably not since anything we think we ought to know about everything is likely just a superficial layer of something much deeper. This novel, my first by Patrick Ness, is a resilient coming of age story even postmortem and it is as unpretentious as it gets.

I’ll tell you why.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.  

Continue reading [Review] More Than This – Patrick Ness

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