My rating: 1 of 5 stars
What this book is about:
Mario and his wife Page are about to have a difficult discussion with their son Scott telling him he is adopted when…aliens come to Earth. These extraterrestrials come bearing gifts or rather “the Gift”. A powerful new liquid with unimaginable potentials. But what happens when humans realise that not everything about the Gift is as amazing as it seems. The power of the Gift comes with devastating consequences and now Mario, Page, Scott and the rest of humanity need to find a way to survive.
I’d like to start this review talking about one of the appealing elements of this book (I’ve hidden some minor spoilers throughout this review to make sure I don’t give anything away for new readers). Have you always enjoyed reading books about an alien invasion? (view spoiler) I believe that sounds interesting to all of us fans of fantasy and science fiction.
“And I haven’t been speaking with students. I’ve been speaking with the CIA. They callled me to ask for my help. I’m getting on a plane to Africa tonight.”
But, as you can probably tell from my star rating for this book, I wasn’t a fan of it. In fact, I had a lot of issues with it and I know I am a very strict reader and reviewer, but hear me out. Let’s start with the writing style. This was probably one of my biggest issues with this book. When I read a novel, I personally appreciate it when an author deals with me as a reader in an intelligent manner. When an author lets me think for myself and doesn’t spell out every single small thing for me. When an author leaves things unexplained for me to give my own interpretations and meanings. In this book, there were a lot of small explanations made for every single move of a given character. The author kept overanalysing and overexplaining things to us and I ended up getting the feeling that I was reading a children’s story even though there are some gore scenes that are definitely not for children.The writing style was a huge deal breaker for me and something that caused me to crawl through this novel trying too hard to finish it.
“We need more time. I have to make sure the whole world is watching.”
Another thing that was quite annoying for me throughout the novel was the lengthy descriptions or explanations of unimportant details. For example, there is a point in which it is explained how people were seated in the living room. Who was sitting next to whom and who was not on the couch but on the floor and why? Explanations of this kind would be interesting if they were rare and if they actually mattered to the storyline or character development. But in my opinion, they really didn’t. At times, I felt like these sentences were there just to fill up the space and make the book lengthier in pages. Overall, it was really really difficult for me to get through this book as I already mentioned before.
“We have in our possession a liquid that can cause you to no longer need to sleep. You can go without eating food, and only feed for pleasure. We have in our possession a liquid that can make you immortal.”
Now, concerning the characters: we have basically four main people that we follow throughout the book. Mario, his son Scott, his wife Page and their son’s friend Helen. We also get additional characters who play some smaller parts in the story. The problem with these four guys – and with the rest of the people in the book – was that I really didn’t care about them. Would they survive, would they be happy, would they get what they want out of life? Well, I didn’t care because there was never enough projection of emotion from them. A lot of extraordinary, unbelievable, incomprehensible things happen to these characters. Things that are truly unimaginable to us. It is the job of the author to convey the thoughts and feelings of the characters to the reader. My feeling of this was that although there was an explanation of the nature that: this character is sad now because of that, the next thing we know this character is over this feeling of saddness and is concentrating on something completely different. Although the story was full of exciting and interesting moments, the character building felt extremely rushed and sloppy.
On the following day, the conversation would continue. It may have felt like there was plenty of time left before a decision had to be made, but the deadline could pounce on them before they realised it.
Finally, I would like to discuss the logical continuation of the story. There were many different things, from small to bigger ones, that didn’t logically make any sense to me. For example, there is supposed to be this mobile app that translates from one language to the other. But how do you use this app without internet? Also, when testing drugs, especially such an important medicine, a scientist would never just decide to taste it by himself like the manner described in the book. Testing and retesting for years would have to take place in order for a medicine to go out to the market. But yeah, anyway, the story must go on, I guess. Still, these are sloppy plot holes that really annoy me in books.
“The next time we see them, it won’t be on Earth. We’ll be visiting them.”
To conclude, this is a quite fast paced book that mixes and combines elements of science fiction and (view spoiler). Even though I had quite a few issues with it, it might just have not been my type of story. Overall there was a lot of action and some character issues of more …contemporary nature. If the synopsis sounds interesting to you, you should check it out.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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