THE STICKY NOTE OF NEWS
I've got a new About Me page! No particular reason, I just thought it was a fun replacement for the now-defunct Review Policy page I had before. Plus I can chop and change it on a regular basis, which will give me something else to play with when I'm bored at the shop. :)
Monday, 30 April 2012
0.4, by Mike Lancaster
by Mike Lancaster (Egmont Press, 2011)
'They're gone,' he said. 'Changed. All of them. You hear me? I... I SEE THEM!'
His words sent a physical chill down my spine.
'See what?' I demanded. 'What can you see?'
This is one of those unassuming books that actually far exceeded my expectations. Rather overlooked in the current wave of YA paranormal and dystopian fiction, this is the kind of novel that can be enjoyed by the full sweep of the YA target audience, and is a proper little page-turner to boot.
The whole novel is centred around the mysterious event which takes place - unlikely though it may seem - during the local talent show in the little English village of Millgrove. As part of the show, Kyle and Lilly, along with two adults, Mr Peterson and Mrs O'Donnell, agree to get up on stage and be hypnotised by their madcap friend Danny. To their horror, when they 'awaken' a few minutes later, everyone in the village is frozen in place where they sit, shocked expressions on their faces. When they begin to move again, it's clear that something has changed. Now these four must try to work out what happened - and why - before it's too late...
Lancaster has been especially clever in that the structure of the novel, and even the paper-book format, tie in intrinsically with the plot. The chapters are written in a normal narrative style, but are divided into tape sides - this is supposed to be a kind of transcript of the testimony of Kyle Straker, which has been recorded onto old audio tapes and discovered later. Lancaster takes on the role of 'editor' and there are occasional futuristic notes inserted into the text to explain popular culture references and some of our more unusual idioms.
I found it a quick but hard-hitting read, with some deliciously creepy moments along the way, fusing the quiet menace of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers with the thought-provoking ideas of The Matrix into one exciting premise. The pithy, amusing and occasionally revelatory text notes are a nice touch. Between the testimony and the 'editorial input', everything starts to come together, but until the big reveal I still wasn't quite sure what had happened! One for boys AND girls to enjoy, and I'd say it was suitable for younger YA readers as well, though they might not pick up on some of the references and humour that an older reader would. Recommended!
"Not everyone has to fly high to prove they exist; some of us are perfectly happy flying low and enjoying the view."
Source: This book was a Christmas gift. Thanks Dad! xx