Top critical review
Uninspiring beginning but worth sticking with
on 20 October 2013
I struggled with this book at first and it took me quite a while to get into it, but I'm glad I persevered. The main problem I had with the book was the narrator in the form of Hesketh Lock. Hesketh has Asperger's and whilst there have been a couple of books I've read that feature a narrator with this syndrome (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time being the most famous), I didn't feel that it was very deftly handled in this book. In my opinion, when the author first introduces us to the character, there's something of "over-egging the pudding" going on as it is brought to the reader's attention over and over again that Hesketh is not like his fellow humans. Of course, I can see why the main character's disassociation from the human race would work in the context of this story - however, I felt that the initial introduction of him, and his syndrome, was somewhat clumsy.
That said, I'm glad I stuck with the story. Hesketh doesn't really get any more likeable but I got used to him and the story still made for a compelling dystopian novel. I liked the way the author linked the theme of fairy stories, changelings, myths from various cultures and bible stories with the children who are "uninvited" into the "old world" as they see it. I did guess the end when I was 75% of the way through my Kindle edition, but I still, on the whole, liked this book. I've not read The Rapture but I've got to say the two do sound remarkably similar.