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This is definitely a young adult book - I'm not sure I'd even call it young adult - it's actually geared toward early tweens. The description sounded intriguing and if it had been handled better, it could have been a great mystery. Things were weird from the beginning, though. A slower discovery of the peculiarities of the town and less scooby doo style monsters would have made for a much better book. Look, I like YA scifi/fantasy novels, but this was just to juvenile for my taste. Far more juvenile than the description suggests, so beware.
125 of 130 people found this review helpful
I found Daryl Gregory from his other works-Pandemonium, The Devil's Alphabet, and Afterparty. I was reminded of Phillip K. Dick in his other books, so I was surprised when I found this one, which seems to be a tribute to HP Lovecraft, another of my favorite authors. There have been a billion new books based in Lovecraft's world, but few do it justice. This book has just enough real world feel for it to work. Also, Luke Daniels reads as a Brazilian scientist mother-that's worth it right there. This is good, light-hearted horror, and nothing that will keep you up at night. More of a "Scoobie Doo" than Night Gallery.
30 of 32 people found this review helpful
I loved this book when I read it in print and decided to give the audio version a go and I'm so glad I did. The narrator is excellent. Each of the characters has a distinct voice which he perfectly carries over. The drama, humour and darkness comes across brilliantly in his delivery and I'm definitely going to be looking for more books narrated by him.
The story itself is Lovecraftian YA with Harrison Harrison the main protagonist who has to deal with a creepy new school, a missing mother and a new - and unusual - friend; all while trying to figure out what the hell is going on and stay out of the water.
If you love Lovecraftian fiction with diverse characters in life and death situations and a good dose of humour that will make you grin with delight then I can recommend this book.
Give it a go (I'll be listening to it again.)
Whilst I vastly prefer the darker and more adult tone of Gregory's 'We Are All Completely Fine' - which deals with similar subject matter and shares a character or two - this is a fun listen and definitely worth checking out.
It's a shame that the current state of the publishing industry forces a massively talented writer like Gregory to try for a Young Adult hit series rather than letting him push the boundaries with more challenging work (like the aforementioned, and thoroughly brilliant, 'We Are All Completely Fine').
Having said that, the lighter YA format does allow him to display his considerable comedic talents and the ending packs one particular punch that is fully Lovecraftian and anything but lightweight.
Luke Daniels narration is superb. He brings each character to life with great individuality: his rendition of a loveable Deep One(!) named Lub, for example, frequently had me chortling in happy amazement. Great stuff.