Book Review – A Maze of Death by Philip K. Dick

Dark, mysterious and loaded with insensitive protagonists… and very aggravating.

A Maze of Death Book Review by Casey CarlisleGenre: Science Fiction, Mystery

No. of pages: 192

From Goodreads:

When fourteen people arrive to colonize the otherwise uninhabited planet of Delmak-O, they quickly discover that their bizarre new world is more dangerous – and much, much stranger – than they could ever have imagined. The colonists have nothing in common and no idea why they’ve been sent there. All they know is that there’s no way to leave and, one by one, they are being killed..

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I’d been longing for science fiction title for a while, having reviewed so many YA paranormal and contemporaries lately, I was itching for a change. So I picked up ‘A Maze of Death’ because it looked promising and reminded me of the types of books I liked to read in high school (yes I was having a melancholic moment) And well… what can I say?

Firstly, I put this book down a few times, because the narrative is oddly formal, making it feel jarring. With long stretches of dialogue, followed by a simple description of action … it was more like reading a screen play. The dialogue also ran on in a continual stream in some parts, without formatting, so it was difficult to determine who was talking at times. So you can see why I put it down and walked away for a rest.

Additionally, for such a science driven writing style, the narrative felt immature – like absolutely everything had to be explained. Distracting. And with that said, the content was very technical, but the way the characters addressed each other, was like they were talking to a child… the whole novel felt out of wack!

On the plus side, ‘A Maze of Death’ has a dry wit, reminding me of a very unfunny grandpa.

Through the first part of this novel, I had a hard time working out what was going on with the characters – they are all snarky and not very relatable.

There is a point to all this whinging… it was written that way on purpose. I’d explain, but you know – spoilers!

Yes this book is extremely grating and frustrating to read. But has a great twist that leaves you floored.

A Maze of Death Book Review Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleThe planet, Delmak-O where most of the novel is set is a puzzle, and the beginning had me intrigued. Weird things that didn’t make sense. A murder. So many questions I wanted answers for… I was so, so curious.

And you know what curiosity did right?

Well, it slayed me.

I would’ve loved to have experienced better world building, and a more articulate flow of dialogue (also formatting). The conclusion is completely unexpected. Some readers loved it, some loathed it! For me – it felt a little like a cop out and left me wondering why I’d wasted my time with the book. But ultimately it’s a great novel to get you critically thinking. And possibly re-read with this new knowledge.

I appreciate it for what it is, but it’s ultimately not the kind of enjoyable reading experience for me.

Overall feeling: Did that really just happen?

 A Maze of Death Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

A Maze of Death Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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