I find that reading a eBook can be a completely different reading experience to the physical book, so this perspective is from reading the eBook version.
Firstly, in terms of formatting and readability, the book is perfect. I read from an iPad mini using either the Kindle app or iBooks, and sometimes there can be really distracting errors in the formatting. Not so with this one!
My absolute least favourite thing about eBooks is the lack of being able to read the blurb on the back cover, but I kept seeing the title pop up again and again, so I thought I would give it a whirl. Of course, you can read a summary from whichever place you buy it from, but it doesn’t quite have the same impact. I also tend to buy books and then read them three months later, so I had only the vaguest of ideas of what this book was about before reading it.
Melanie, the key to the novel, draws you in immediately. She is charming, much more so than the other characters in the book. The novel is fast paced and full of darkness, and there are more monsters than might first appear. Melanie almost gives relief for all of the horrors – almost. I’m reticent to say much more due to the delight I found due to my lack of knowledge of the book – the book does not rest on dramatic twists however, the writing is a delightful mix of facts and characterisation. Not all of the characters are likeable, but they are well created. The size of the novel might put some people off, however it’s not an arduous slog by any means. You’re engaged throughout, the narration delivering an exciting pace that matches the tone of the story.
Definitely a page turner, you’re drawn in by Carey to a world where humanity is questioned. There is some violence and gore – there is little softness in the book. And where it is, it’s perhaps the most unexpected.