Film vs Novel – ‘Firestarter’

Firestarter Film vs Novel by Casey Carlisle

Firestarter Film vs Novel Pic 07 by Casey CarlisleYou certainly get a feel for the 80’s. So many references. The novel was a nostalgic read. The film is comparatively in the style of horror movies being produced in the early 80’s as well, though it has some great special effects for its time.

As much as I loved this book – the protagonist Charlie, the paranormal ability of pyrokenesis, the antagonists in The Shop – ‘Firestarter’ felt like a long read. Normally I fly through books like this, but it took me over a week to reach the end. I was continually needing a rest as King went off in tangents and titbits of backstory for secondary characters. It brought the pacing down somewhat. But I appreciated all of that extra information – it really fleshed out the world and characters… so it was a tug-of-war for me between liking Kings writing style and getting bored with it. In the end the amazing writing and subject matter won out: you can always skim the uninteresting bits. As far as the film goes by comparison, there is no let down in the pacing, no chance to tear your eyes off the screen. The action is kept going from start to finish, with a few flashback scenes (as in the novel) for context and backstory, though with parts of the original story cut for time constraints, some things don’t make the best sense.

Some scenes were more gruesome than I expected, but upon completing the novel version of ‘Firestarter’ I kind of wanted more. More horror. More action. But I guess it would have been unrealistic with a child as the protagonist – that kind of action would have twisted her into something monstrous and broken or dead inside. The movie obviously omitted some on-screen deaths and gore to keep it in a marketable ‘M’ rating.

Firestarter Film vs Novel Pic 03 by Casey CarlisleThe depiction of Charlie in the novel felt intelligent beyond her years, but still had the innocence of youth in her view of the world. It was phenomenal to read about the psychic powers growing within her, (and those of other characters.) You get a small character arc with Charlie, but because the narrative takes on many points of view and encompasses many characters, there is more going on around her. I think that was another thing slowing the pace down for me – following some of the other characters just wasn’t as interesting. The film version of Charlie, played by Drew Barrymore comes off as more of an obstinate child at times.

With all the training Charlie is meant to have up until the scene where the movie opens, this alludes that Charlie can pretty much control her powers, but the Airport scene depicts her as not being able to control her ability or not wanting to use it. Not matching the narrative of the novel at all. This scene from the film also tips The Shop off about her ability, yet in the novel it is kept in question up until well over halfway, where she uses this fact as a bargaining tool with the scientists trying to test her.

Firestarter Film vs Novel Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleCharlie’s powers are meant to be effortless to use (depicted in the novel,) but the heavy breathing, sweating, use of a wind machine to dramatize Drew Barrymore’s depiction of the pyrokenesis – and how she repeats “Back off” to switch it off, make the use of her ability a little clunky and awkward for the film. Charlie never vocalised her ‘cool-down’ in the novel, and her ability was used easily – hence the training.

When Charlie was in with The Shop, they drugged her to inhibit her use of her ability, yet in the film, even though they knew of her ability, they did not use this method of control. Instead may of the scientists walked around in hilarious looking thermal suits.

Additionally, in the film with Charlie befriending Rainbird, she confides just about everything and never draws her own conclusions to his deception. Where in the novel she is much more intelligent and mistrusting. She also gets a note from her father informing her of Rainbirds true intentions, leading to her forming a plan of escape. I wish we had seen the more aware and strategic version of Charlie on the big screen. Even after the first demonstration of Charlie’s power in the film, while everyone is distracted she walks back into her room… where in the novel she takes the opportunity to find her father. Dumbing down her character was detrimental to this film. Even with all these issues in context and story Barrymore’s portrayal of Charlie is epic. A true testament to her acting chops at such a young age.

Andy (Charlie’s Dad) was the dedicated loving father, nurturing and supporting Charlie, instilling right and wrong, ‘Firestarter’ is as much his story as hers. I feel that we don’t get as much character development as we could because this is essentially a cat-and-mouse chase story, tumbling from one escape to the next.

Firestarter Film vs Novel Pic 04 by Casey CarlisleThe biggest difference to the written version to the one played by David Keith in the film, was how his ability was portrayed. It was meant to be mental dominance, yet somehow he manages to affect phone booths to extract coins, and change television channels without the use of a remote. Was he meant to have different abilities in the film? The dramatization of Andy using his ability felt overacted. Grabbing his head, a bloody nose. Even though thie is typical treatment for the time of its release, I wasn’t sold. In the novel he got headaches, disorientated, and exhausted. Using his ability is said to give him mirco-aneurisms, a blood nose was overkill. Leaving Charlie to take the lead in taking care of him and ensure their safety.

Another aspect explained in the novel was the ricocheting of Andy’s ability, it’s set up in the narrative, and shows a history and line of progression – in the film however we get a scene around one character seeing snakes with no context.

Rainbird is the quintessential antagonist from King. He manages to paint interesting and layered bad guys that still give off an aura of pure evil. It’s easy to see why so many of his novels get the film treatment. With the native American Indian background, it felt like a foreshadowing of diverse writing that we see today – even if there are colours of stereotyping and discrimination (as too in dealing with transvestism.) Villainising minority groups in the time ‘Firestarter’ was published was commonplace.

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As for the depiction of Rainbird in the film: George C Scott is not Native American, I think I was offended by this more than any other change for the movie adaptation (thank heavens he wasn’t in blackface.) Additionally, there was no setup, no backstory to build this iconic antagonist. The film left Rainbird feeling two dimensional. The same thing happened to The Shop’s spies near Charlie’s Grandfathers cabin – no set up or backstory – there was no context to validate why they were even there. In the novel they lived at the place for months, in the film, days.

The final battle scene at the Barn has some major differences. We get all the Hollywood treatment of Charlie puffing and shooting fireballs, evaporating bullets for the film. When the horses are set free, none get shot or catch on fire like in the novel. The special effects of some of the bad guys catching on fire is a bit hilarious as they just stand still screaming. Umm, I’d be running and failing, rolling on the ground. But I did like how one guy gets blown in to a tree fully ablaze from Charlie’s psychic blast.

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The novel shows Charlie taking out the entire compound (and people), where the film has her exhibiting much more restraint in carnage. The book suggests Charlie’s abilities extend much further than pyrokenesis, but the movie keeps her psychic power within the confines of a Firestarter.

The novel ends on Charlie contacting the ‘New York Times’ – a reputable newspaper; but the novel has her going into the offices of the ‘Rolling Stone’ because it was the only publication independent of the reach of The Shop to have her (and her Father’s) story published.

The writing of the novel is somewhat dated. The references are solidly entrenched in the 70-80’s. Technology, attitudes… it was nostalgic in a way, and also had me thanking god we’ve evolved from that place. Stephen King has a resounding writing style – descriptive and distinctly dry and masculine. Though he has a tendency to repeat things a number of times. And a perchance to long drawn-out exposition. This had me skimming a page or two. It also slowed down the pace and I was frequently putting the book down for a rest. While I enjoyed the film, it does not stand the test of time and fails to compare to the book.

I won’t comment on predictability – I’d read the book and seen the film before, plus it’s such a well-known story the plot was all but spoiled long ago. Looking forward to the film remake currently in development to see how they modernise ‘Firestarter’ and tie it into the Stephen King universe at large. It’s rumoured for a late 2019 to a 2020 release. I hope we will get to see Drew Barrymore return and possibly play the role of Victoria McGee, Charlie’s mom. Fingers crossed.

Firestarter Film vs Novel Pic 08 by Casey Carlisle

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© Casey Carlisle 2018. 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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Wrap up – Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

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I read this collection spread out over just under four years! I think because the middle book disappointed me after the stellar impression from the debut, I was reluctant to pick up ‘The Retribution of Mara Dyer’ for a while after its release.

And a friendly warning: this is a wrap-up, so it discusses many elements with the plot, so avoid reading if you don’t like *spoilers!*

I was blow away with the debut. Hodkin’s writing is eloquent and haunting and I loved the analytical introspection of the protagonist. Plus the paranormal mystery storyline mixed in with a bit of thriller kept me engaged. A rich tapestry of characters that you don’t get a lot of in YA had me singing its praises to anyone who’d listen. And then the sequel “The Evolution of Mara Dyer’ put a big spanner in the works. The narrative moved away from the paranormal mystery/thriller, to that of a contemporary dealing with mental illness. We still get all the supernatural elements, but find ourselves embroiled in something that floundered about. Mara was not sure of anything –and as a result, I had no clue where the story was going. The pacing slowed right down because we were dealing circle shares and lengthy introductions to new cast members in the Sanatorium. I missed the tone of the debut and consequently was not too eager to pick of ‘The Retribution of Mara Dyer’ when it was released.

After reading many rave reviews for the conclusion for this trilogy, I finally got around to reading it and my faith was just about fully restored. Though the genre was approaching more sci-fi than paranormal. Experiments for developing abilities – and mental illness the cost of acquiring such abilities is a fantastic concept. I was a touch underwhelmed about this explanation. The hint of past lives and ghosts from the first novel is what had interested me in this series initially.

This series is the first that I have read in YA with a darker tone to it, and I really can’t hype Hodkin’s writing enough. She is a sheer genius with her turn of phrase. What started out as feeling like a paranormal thriller, morphed into a gothic romance. So it was a bit of a rocky road with this trilogy, but definitely gets two thumbs up from me.

Of course we can continue in this universe with the latest releases of The Shaw Confessions, of which I am keen to collect and read. ‘The Becoming of Noah Shaw,’ ‘The Reckoning of Noah Shaw,’ and a third yet untitled volume to be published in 2019. Let’s hope it continues with the timeline and does not suffer the middle book slump.

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For individual reviews click on the links below:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer’https://strokingfire.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/book-review-the-unbecoming-of-mara-dyer/

The Evolution of Mara Dyer’ https://strokingfire.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/book-review-the-evolution-of-mara-dyer/

The Retribution of Mara Dyer’ – https://strokingfire.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/book-review-the-retribution-of-mara-dyer-by-michelle-hodkin/

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© Casey Carlisle 2018. 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.

Book Review – ‘Perception’ (#2 Clarity) by Kim Harrington

A great follow-up novel for a YA paranormal mystery, but I wanted a little something more…

Perception (#2 Clarity) Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpgGenre: Y/A, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance

No. of pages: 275

From Goodreads:

When you can see things others can’t, what do you do when someone’s watching you? 

Everybody knows about Clarity “Clare” Fern. She’s the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past. 

Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her. 

But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare’s pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare’s hopeful ex-boyfriend who’d do anything to win her back? 

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.

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This was a nice little parcelled story. Another murder mystery in the same vein of the debut ‘Clarity.’ I did sleuth out the killer very early on though – but the author Kim Harrington has a way of providing clues but not spilling the beans. A fun, if somewhat formulaic YA paranormal mystery.

The tone of ‘Perception’ felt a touch more mature than ‘Clarity.’ And while there were some burning unanswered questions from the debut still lingering by the end of ‘Perception’ – and after doing a little research – I discovered there were plans for more books in this series, but due to poor sales it has been abandoned. It felt like that kind-of-okay television show you were just getting in to and it gets cancelled. Grrr!

Our protagonist, Clare has all of her usual spunk from ‘Clarity,’ but with an increased number of complications to deal with. This really added some tension and helped her character mature. Yay! Way to up the anty Harrington! I enjoyed reading her journey.

But I wanted to bash my head against the desk repeatedly over the love triangle trope. So overdone. But at least it wasn’t filled with swoony, angsty behaviour. Thank the lord. Clare approached her options logistically. Believing in letting her feeling progress naturally to make a decision between her ex, Justin, and the new guy Gabriel.

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I will say that Clare’s family unit is still going strong, and to have her mother play a present and involved parental role resonated with me. I sing praises for YA books having family units as a strong theme within the narrative.

I would have liked a pun about Mrs Vaddja (the fortune teller from ‘Clarity’) in the final lines… it would have fit. But that’s the writer/editor coming out in me. Additionally, there were some mysteries touched on again that never progressed – I would have like a few more clues scattered in to progress the arcs. Maybe it would have made this book perform better in sales and increased interest in a sequel? A few breadcrumbs isn’t going to entice readers to wait for the next book in the series with butt-clenching excitement… you need to start building and establishing an over-arcing storyline solidly grounded in each novel in the series. As a reader I appreciate a well thought out and paced development throughout a series.

Percertion,’ and ‘Clarity’ for that matter aren’t what I would call favourites – I feel there is something missing from the narrative. Maybe Clare feels a little too distant with her romantic relationships to connect with the target market? Maybe their psychic gifts weren’t utilised in a spooky enough way to hook their readers? It was more of a murder mystery aimed at a tween market. Again, I saw so much potential in this series – and in Harrington as a writer.

I was initially attracted to this series when it popped up in my recommendations on Goodreads because of the stunning cover artwork. After reading the blurb I was definitely intrigued. This collection definitely has all the attention grabbing gravitas – it just needed a few tweaks to turn it into best seller material.

A fun read, but a lukewarm feeling upon completion. There are so many fantastic elements but were either not explored enough, or not put together properly to make this an outstanding read… so I won’t count Harrington out yet.

Her following publications seem to be more middle grade though, so I don’t see myself picking up any more of her titles unless she releases another YA or adult novel. But it was the perfect move for her writing style and I can see her garnering a lot of success.

An enjoyable series to read, but I can see why it has been discontinued.

Overall feeling: Entertaining and underwhelming all at the same time.

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© Casey Carlisle 2018. 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.

Book Review – ‘Clarity’ (#1 Clarity) by Kim Harrington

Psychic teen hunts down killer with cute boys at her side…

Clarity (#1 Clarity) Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpgGenre: Y/A, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance

No. of pages: 246

From Goodreads:

When you can see things others can’t, where do you look for the truth?

This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity “Clare” Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It’s a gift. 

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare’s ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case–but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare’s brother–who has supernatural gifts of his own–becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

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I enjoyed all the elements of this novel. It hit the right tone of paranormal and mystery for me. I can also happily say that it was not so predictable – I had no idea who the killer was, even right up until the reveal… and I pride myself at being able to preconceive these things. So it is a joy when an author can stump me.

Clarity (#1 Clarity) Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle.jpgClare ‘Clarity’ Fern was an interesting protagonist, but the freaky outsider trope is nothing new. Neither is the love triangle which looked like it was forming. For some reason Clare, and the storyline felt very ‘done.’ Nothing about ‘Clarity’ felt original. Don’t get me wrong. It is highly entertaining in an episodic after-school-special kind of way. But expect cliché and stereotypes. Clare is strong-willed, level headed and takes in the world with a sense of sarcasm and irony. She is definitely a fun character to read.

Both Justin and Gabriel – the ex and the new hot guy were also fun to read – though I never felt like we really get into their heads. Maybe it’s the sparse form of the narrative, or that I failed to get an emotional connection with them. My biggest connection came in the form of Perry (Periwinkle,) Clare’s man-whore brother. He was funny, oblivious, and so… well teen guy. I wonder if he will develop as a character in the sequel ‘Perception?

Clarity’ felt very much an average read. The writing style, though breezy and totally encapsulating the tone of a teenage psychic, did not embellish much outside the essential. I wanted more description of the landscape, of feelings, and of the visions. Some showmanship if you will. This felt like a bare-bones narrative. I guess because of this approach the pacing was maintained from one scene to the next, focusing on the clues and misdirection.

There are plenty of easter eggs planted for the follow-up, but there is also enough solved in ‘Clarity’ to make you feel satisfied at the end. I’m definitely intrigued to see what ‘Perception’ brings. But I hope Harrington’s writing style improves to paint a more colourful canvas to keep me engaged. The formation of a mystery story line is masterful, her characters delightful, I’m just wanting to be dragged more into Clare’s world.

I’d recommend this more for the younger end of the YA market as the language choice, content, and structure is geared more towards a tween reader. A great starter novel for those wanting to test the waters of paranormal mystery.

Overall feeling: Pretty good

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Clarity (#1 Clarity) Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

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© Casey Carlisle 2018. 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.

Book Review – ‘The Gift’ (#1 The Butterfly Effect) by Margaret McHeyzer

No.

The Gift (#1 The Butterfly Effect) Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpgGenre: Y/A, Paranormal

No. of pages: 179

From Goodreads:

I have something people want. I have something they cannot take or steal. I have something they’d kill for.

The something I have, isn’t a possession, it’s more.

Much, much more.

It’s a gift.

It’s part of me.

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I picked this up because of a few rave reviews from fellow bloggers, and the synopsis had a great hook. Plus, when I went to add it to my wish list on Amazon.com I discovered it was free. Bargain! I’ve read many books in this genre and had a lot of fun… but ‘The Gift’ was anything but for me. I think I’d rather have my teeth drilled, strapped down in a dentist chair.

The writing style felt juvenile. As well as the main character, Alexa, fell through a sequence of events and felt very passive. The line ‘are you okay’ was repeated with such repetition I wanted to turn it into a drinking game but was in fear I’d kill my liver.

Her acceptance of her gift happens very quickly, and the plot all of a sudden becomes very intricate – but this development does not feel organic, maybe because of the writing style, and maybe because of the poorly written protagonist.

The novel takes a turn and I thought it would get better, but Alexa is just not reacting logically or realistically. I feel like its some poorly written, badly acted movie.

To add insult to injury, Alexa says asshole way too much. I really feel like slapping my forehead repeatedly. She also says and thinks ‘ugh’ a lot too. This book is exasperating. Wasn’t this even edited to get rid of so many repeated words and phrases?

And then there is the antagonist, who is almost a characture of a bond villain.

Their relationship makes me want to vomit.

Ended on a cliff-hanger which had me intrigued, but will not continue with this series. There was nothing resolved with the plot by the end of ‘The Gift.’ The writing style did not work for me. The main characters behaviour annoyed the heck out of me, she was always the victim… A whole lot of questions were posed, the mythology suggested, but never explored, the characters weren’t able to resolve any of the problems set up during the novel and then the book just ended. It felt like I was in the middle of a sentence and someone hit the pause button.

The dialogue for all the characters wasn’t all that great. Even the sassiness of Alexa came off as cheesy instead of humorous – which is what it seemed the author wanted it to be.

With ‘The Butterfly Effect’ in the series title, I was expecting something to do with time travel – but we got none of that. I felt mislead.

I could have DNF’d this book quite easily – but then I wouldn’t be able to comment on plot – which went nowhere, character development: nada, and believability was ruined by heavily stereotyped characters and cheesy dialogue.

But it has a lot of potential. I’m shocked given the award the Author has won. But I can’t see myself ever reading any more of her material after this dog’s breakfast. This has got to be the lowest rating I’ve given for 2017.

Overall feeling:   :|

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The Gift (#1 The Butterfly Effect) Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. 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.

Wrap up – Slide Duology by Jill Hathaway

A paranormal teen murder mystery with promise.

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I must say there was a lot of potential in this series, but it didn’t quite explore the themes enough for me to sing its praises. These books felt like a watered-down version of the Wake trilogy by Lisa McMann. ‘Slide’ and ‘Impostor’ failed to explore the mythology behind dream-walking/psychic abilities, instead resorting to a detective murder-mystery with little substance. The stories are a cursory glance at both the genres it purports to be: a mystery and a paranormal tale. If you’ve read any detective novels, or some good paranormal titles you’d see that the Slide duology is indeed the poorer cousin of either.

There is a marked improvement in Jill Hathaway’s writing from the debut to its follow up; however, I had many issues with the construction and delivery of the plot that I risked falling into an unflattering rant during my reviews. It’s not a poorly written series, or a terribly bad collection – it falls into the ‘average’ area. Quick and easy to read.

These books have a great premise, and all the elements to make for an interesting read, but don’t quite get there. I recommend them for younger audiences who enjoy a book with great pacing and a little bit of danger (and a paranormal twist.) But in all honesty, I’d probably recommend the Wake trilogy before this duology. This series felt a bit… vanilla.

The author works as a psychic for the authorities and it easy to see how she has used these books to (maybe) justify her field of work and draw from her experiences, or fantasize of the possibilities of using her gifts… and I’m not trying to put her down personally, it’s just as the books stand on their own, much of the set-up, character development, and mythology was not delivered in a clear concise manner for the reader to get engrossed in the protagonist, Sylvia, and how she uses her gift to hunt down killers.

I still think it’s a brilliant idea for a series of books, it just needs an overhaul for the writing side of things to create more conflict, interest, and depth.

I’ve looked at some of the other novels Hathaway has in her catalogue, and to be frank, none of them are piquing my interest at this point, so I most likely will not be reviewing any of her material again.

Can you recommend any great YA paranormal murder mysteries? I love to hear all about them.

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For individual reviews click on the links below:

Slide’https://strokingfire.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/book-review-slide-by-jill-hathaway/

Impsotor’ – https://strokingfire.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/book-review-impostor-by-jill-hathaway/

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. 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.

Book Review – ‘Impostor’ by Jill Hathaway

An okay read.

impostor-book-review-pic-01-by-casey-carlisleGenre: Y/A, Paranormal, Mystery

No. of pages: 278

From Goodreads:

What if a killer took control of you?

Vee Bell’s gift (or curse) of “sliding”—slipping into the mind of another person and experiencing life, briefly, through his or her eyes—has been somewhat under control since she unwillingly witnessed the horrific deaths of her classmates six months ago.

But just as things are getting back to normal, Vee has a very bizarre experience: she loses consciousness and finds herself in a deserted area, at the edge of a cliff, with the broken body of the boy who took advantage of her on the rocks below.

As Vee finds herself in stranger and stranger situations with no memory of getting there, she begins to suspect that someone she knows has the ability to slide—and that this “slider” is using Vee to exact revenge on his or her enemies..

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I was hoping that ‘Impostor’ would build on the premise set up in ‘Slide,’ however, it turned out to be another episodic mystery and failed to address a lot of the world building and aftermath from the first novel. Sylvia and her sister Mattie have survived a sociopathic murderer, and I felt this fact had been conveniently dismissed in the structure of the plot. Even though the nightmares showed that both her and Mattie hadn’t gotten through their ordeal scot free, I feel there would be more emotional issues to deal with. It was glossed over too much.

The girl’s father and the school don’t seem to have taken any action for the kids safety or mental wellbeing since the death of the two students in the first novel. Where’s the talks on depression and suicide? Professional counselling? Safety talks or metal detectors? Added security guards, Or even Sylvia’s father keeping an eye on his daughter? The school was conveniently absent from the equation again.

Hasn’t Sylvia learnt her lesson about keeping secrets from the first novel? People died? She nearly died, her sister was nearly murdered – I can’t express my frustration at the idiocy of Sylvia… it’s really making me dislike this book. So annoyed that Sylvia does not seem to have more self-preservation, she saw people killed and still chose to keep secrets in ‘Impostor,’ even when it looked like the same thing was happening all over again.

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Sylvia and her love interest, Rollins, looked all set for a heavy romance having found a connection together in ‘Slide,’ and now it’s been rolled back to how it was at the start of the series – seriously I’m beginning to wonder if Hathaway is smoking crack. In the first few chapters she repeated herself a number of times on the backstory and it felt like this book hadn’t even been edited properly.

I was even alarmed when all of a sudden we get a tidbit that Sylvia’s mother could have been a slider? Where the hell did that come from? Why wasn’t it mentioned in ‘Slide?’ But this meant that we got some mythology explained. So I was happy.

Another aspect to the plot which had me raising an eyebrow was the introduction of Sylvia’s Aunt, which felt like she was only there as a character to muddy the water of suspects. A little too convenient.

I actually liked this more than the first novel. The pacing was better, the mystery was planned out and revealed in a logical fashion. And I certainly did not predict what happened. I love surprises. So while there was so much wrong with this contextually, it was still entertaining and kept me guessing. Though I don’t think I would recommend this duology to my friends. There are far more gripping paranormal mysteries out there than this one.

Overall feeling: grrrr

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. 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.