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This review is from: Fragment (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I hate to re-iterate comments from other reviewers, but in this case it can't be helped. Starting with the books strapline `Jurassic Part for the Lost generation'. Well, there are no dinosaurs and OK, it does take place on an island, but I'm struggling for many more Lost comparisons.
Based on the strapline, the publishers are presumably inviting comparisons with Michael Crichton. The trouble is, Crichton knew how to pace a story and lace it liberally with suspense. These are things Warren Fahy still has to work on.
The idea is that an island, completely isolated in the middle of the ocean, houses species of creature which have evolved in a very different direction to most other life on Earth. They are almost all predatory and vicious in nature. Which means early human contact with these native animals is rather messy.
It's a great idea and there are passages of the book where it works pretty well, but the pacing is all over the place. After a good start, Fahy then wanders off into a lengthy `essay' on the science of evolution and natural selection. This kills off all of the early intrigue, but the book does recover somewhat....then he does it again, on more than one other occasion! Any lengthy explanation of such things through dialogue always seems very clunky, and it's done too much in this novel.
The predators on the island are described in great detail and are uniformly fearsome creatures. For quite some time I was wondering what the eventual outcome was going to be as the island's residents clearly had the upper hand against man, until an extremely convenient event crops up and things lurch off in an admittedly unexpected direction and ended up with a sickly sweet ending. Granted, I didn't see it coming but it was quite disappointing. The dialogue over the closing pages is also very, very bad; to the point some of the character's lines are just laugh out loud funny when they shouldn't be.
So Fragment is a great idea, which occasionally works really well, but is let down by the overall story-telling. Something of a missed opportunity.