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54 Reviews
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arresting, disturbing and utterly compelling
"Mass hysterical outbreaks rarely have identifiable inceptions, but the date I recall most vividly is Sunday 16th September, when a young child in butterfly pyjamas slaughtered her grandmother with a nail-gun to the neck."

From this visceral and arresting opening, we know we are in safe hands with this book: Jensen has written a narrative which is by turn...
Published 24 months ago by Roman Clodia

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rapture Revisited
One of the impressive things about Liz Jensen's books is that they are all so different, so this 'The Rapture' retread - although a good read - comes as a bit of a disappointment. It could almost me an early draft of that previous novel. The theme of a slowly emerging outbreak of malevolent global collective unconscious is a compelling one, but we have been there before.
Published on 13 Sep 2012 by tim


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arresting, disturbing and utterly compelling, 21 Dec 2012
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Uninvited (Paperback)
"Mass hysterical outbreaks rarely have identifiable inceptions, but the date I recall most vividly is Sunday 16th September, when a young child in butterfly pyjamas slaughtered her grandmother with a nail-gun to the neck."

From this visceral and arresting opening, we know we are in safe hands with this book: Jensen has written a narrative which is by turn spooky, terrifying, disturbing and unexpected. Every word feels measured and assured; the plot grips, twists and turns with no longuers or missed beats; and the characterisations and voices feel immaculate. So this is a very well crafted novel - but it's also an extremely gripping one.

I don't want to say too much about the plot which would spoil this for other readers but Jensen does an excellent job of mixing up elements from a range of genres - crime, horror, sci-fi, domestic drama - to create something which is uniquely itself.

So this is very intelligent writing combined with a genuinely compelling plot - I finished this at a single sitting and was up till the small hours because I *had* to know what happened next. This is the first book of Jensen's that I've read but, on the back of this, I'll certainly be seeking out her back catalogue - highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rapture Revisited, 13 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The Uninvited (Paperback)
One of the impressive things about Liz Jensen's books is that they are all so different, so this 'The Rapture' retread - although a good read - comes as a bit of a disappointment. It could almost me an early draft of that previous novel. The theme of a slowly emerging outbreak of malevolent global collective unconscious is a compelling one, but we have been there before.
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4.0 out of 5 stars There were a number of things I really liked about this book, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: The Uninvited (Kindle Edition)
There were a number of things I really liked about this book. First of all was the depth of the lead character who had Asperger's syndrome. The author had a very good insight of this condition and used this as part of her narrative, in fact it was central to the character and his setting.
The suspense and build up was also excellent - at the start we are given just enough hints of something bigger and these build through the story, making you want to read on and learn about the bigger picture.
In common with other reviewers, the ending isn't what I would have hoped for and for that reason I gave four stars rather than five. I felt like the ending was a little bit of a cop-out but then that's because I like clean, happy and resolved endings and not open ended or fuzzy ones like this.
I would still recommend this book to others - I enjoyed reading it and finished it in a relatively short amount of time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grips from the beginning, 13 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Uninvited (Paperback)
A really excellent read that kept me gripped throughout. The premise is a really interesting and very timely one regarding the way we treat our world. The idea of children becoming revenge-seeking automatons is a disturbing one and was really well played out in the book. The reader finds themselves gripped from the start as we read about a young girl in leafy Harrogate, ready for bed in her pretty butterfly pajamas who kills her grandmother with a nail-gun to the neck. It's a brutal beginning and certainly one that makes the reader want to read on.

I particularly enjoyed the narration by Hesketh a man navigating his way through life with a brilliant academic mind and a deep misunderstanding of human relationships thanks to his Asperger's.

"We are all liars bud. It's human nature'. No, I thought. He's wrong. Through a quirk of DNA, I am not part of that 'we'. I can get obsessive about things. Or sidetracked. I can appear brutal too, I'm told. But I know right from wrong. And I revere the truth. So you will at least find in me an honest narrator'.

And we do. He is a brilliant choice for a narrator in that he is set slightly apart from the other characters who get swallowed by hysteria and anger at what is happening around them. In Hesketh we get a narrator who, whilst taking part in the action can also stand back and tell it like it is. His complicated relationship as an ex-almost-stepfather to Freddy filled the emotional gap and made Hesketh a totally realised character. His attempts to connect with people by making them gifts of complex origami was also very touching.

Overall I enjoyed this much more than The Rapture as I felt the characters were more developed and the premise was well played out. Not much cheer in this dystopian nightmare, but a great read, recommended for those looking for a psychological thriller with teeth.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Thrilling - must be read!, 6 July 2012
This review is from: The Uninvited (Paperback)
Liz Jensen's latest offering, The Uninvited, is part thriller, part social commentary, with a bit of science and religion thrown in. I'm not normally in to science-y things but having been a fan of her previous works I decided to give it a go - and I am so glad that I did! I suspect Jensen has yet another hit on her hands. This is a more serious novel, in the vein of her last book, the Rapture, but it still has her natural sprinkling of comedy, particularly in the characterisation of Hesketh, who is the novel's brilliantly drawn protagonist, and it's through his eyes that we witness sinister and evil goings-on. All around the world, adults are suddenly and randomly committing acts of mass sabotage whilst children are engaging in shocking acts of violence, ultimately leading to the questioning and breakdown of everything as we know it. Even though the story was a bit scary (for me) in places, I was unable to put the book down and had to keep on going till the end. What's even scarier than the story is the very real notion that this new world Jensen describes as evolving might actually be on the cards for us in the future. The science managed to be both challenging yet easy to digest, with has echoes of Margaret Atwood for me. Jensen's characters are totally believable and get right under your skin, particularly Hesketh and his step-son Freddy.

I absolutely loved The Uninvited, and therefore I urge you to read it! I can't wait to read it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 July 2014
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This review is from: The Uninvited (Hardcover)
Dead exciting book. Prompt delivery too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The unexpected, 1 July 2014
By 
Marie (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Uninvited (Paperback)
Hesketh Lock is a unique figure in the world of anthropology; his Asperger's syndrome allows him to objectively analyse patterns in human behaviour that others overlook. He is never short of work as big businesses take advantage of his talents to assess their employees' habits in order to maximise their profits. While investigating an unusual case of whistleblowing and sabotage in a factory in Taiwan, Hesketh becomes aware of bizarre news reports from home. What starts as an isolated incident of parricide becomes a global epidemic as young children all over the world turn inexplicably against their loved ones. As his own stepson Freddy begins to exhibit increasingly sinister behaviour, Hesketh must use all his expertise to try to get to the bottom of this most disturbing phenomenon.

Liz Jensen has impressed me before with The Ninth Life Of Louis Drax and The Rapture. Here, Jensen revisits the dystopian, apocalyptic themes of The Rapture, but handles them in a far more understated manner. If you're looking for a straightforward horror novel with creepy zombie children and gratuitous gore you won't find it here. Instead, we explore how a community might react under pressure to a truly inexplicable and sinister global threat.

Hesketh is a strong lead character and it is easy to empathise with him. I liked that he is a well-developed character in his own right rather than simply a one-dimensional caricature of Asperger's syndrome as I have sometimes found in other novels - neither overbearingly 'quirky' nor an emotionless robot. Instead, we see how his Asperger's affects him in more subtle ways and how his analytical habits lead him to see situations slightly differently from the majority, which really added to my enjoyment of the book.

I was pleased to find that Jensen doesn't tie all the plot strings up in one neat and tidy bow. The premise is so far-fetched and outrageous that to have a flawless conclusion would have been far too convenient and implausible, in my opinion. However, it is worth bearing in mind if you're considering picking this one up, as I know many readers aren't satisfied with an ambiguous ending.

This really is a disaster novel with a difference. An unusual and thoughtful little book that I enjoyed very much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought at lunchtime; finished by 5.00pm, 24 April 2014
By 
Mrs. E. A. Molloy (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Uninvited (Paperback)
I literally could not put this book down. The writing is so compelling and well-crafted. The lead character is well thought-out and sympathetic. He put me very much in mind of 'The Tale of the Dog in the Night-time' as he has Asperger's Syndrome and sees the world in a slightly detatched, but very detailed way.
Gripping, moving and ultimately informative and certainly makes you think about just what we are doing as humanity in its entirety.
Cannot wait to read her other stuff. Brilliant!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lord Of The Flies 21st Century, 13 April 2014
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This review is from: The Uninvited (Kindle Edition)
I loved the opening sequence of the book and it definitely held me to carry on. I found it an interesting read but Hesketh seemed a bit wishy washy as the lead grown up in a world of apocalyptic children. I kept waiting for the primal hero to come out and properly address the world's woes....sadly his origami was more of a crutch.

There were elements of Lord Of The Flies but without Golding's political tones. I enjoyed it but wanted more from it. The bones and beginnings of a great story are there but there's just something missing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking, 9 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Uninvited (Kindle Edition)
Was interesting to think it could possibly happen. Well written and easy to follow, took a bit of time to finish so not particularly unputdownable. Would lend itself to a follow-up I think.
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The Uninvited
The Uninvited by Liz Jensen
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