Monday, October 17, 2011

Persy -- The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan

You ever wake up and find yourself strapped to a chair, covered in burns and cuts and bruises? You are, that is, not the chair. The chair's fine. Well, probably. Who knows what these dastardly villains have done to the poor thing.

Who are these dastardly villains, you suddenly ask yourself. You can't remember. You have no idea where you are. You frantically think to yourself, what's The Last Thing I Remember?

Well, The Last Thing I Remember is actually a book by Andrew Klavan, about a boy who finds himself in the exact same position. The last thing Charlie West can remember is a normal day--Yesterday? Sure, it was filled with some excitement (epic karate demonstration, finally getting Beth's phone number, arguing with Alex), but in the end, it was a normal day. Nothing to explain why he's just woken up from a night of torture.

Charlie barely escapes with his life, but now he must embark on a quest to figure out what's going on. But just as he seems to get close to safety...he finds he will never again be safe.

This book starts out strong. There's a smooth blend of flashbacks and scenes from the present, both of which keeps the reader (you!) interested. But soon the novelty of an amnesia-suffering MC wears off, and you start noticing some things.

First of all, Andrew Klavan's writing isn't exactly epic. His sentence structure is very repetitive (usually beginning with 'I'), and he tends to use short sentences for dramatic effect. He often does this. He starts the sentences with the same word. He thinks this will be cool. He is wrong.

Then, before you know it, you've reached the end of the novel, and you're left with this feeling of, "Whaaaaaa?" It's one of the most abrupt endings ever. The only warning you get is when you start noticing you're running out of pages. Klavan never quite finishes setting the story up, so the whole book feels more like a really, really long prologue.

So points to Klavan for a good idea and a good MC, but he needs to work on his actual writing style. There are three more books in the Homelanders series, and I'm at least going to read the second one in search of some kind of climax.


You might like this if you like: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Richard Yancey, or if you like like YA thriller/suspense or action/adventure novels, or if you're worried about one day waking up with amnesia.

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