Friday, 26 May 2017

Survivor - Samantha K. Duke



                There are so many things about this book that should make me give it a rather poor review but the thing is, there are so many things I like about it, too. The story has all of the bones of a really good young adult novel. There’s romance, the supernatural, a bit of mystery, and some humour. Unfortunately, the humour often leaves the characters looking ridiculous and unrealistic. Even though this is a work of fiction, I still want to find some realism in the characters and their dialogue.

                Amy and her group of friends are the oddballs of their age group and are often the butt of jokes made by the cool kids. A new boy moves to the school and Amy falls head over heels for him. Max, however, starts missing time, having blackouts and some of the jocks that he has had run-ins with have disappeared or, worse, are found dead. Is Max behind these strange events or does the ghost that Amy sees have something to do with it? Amy, Max and her friends are determined to save their school mates from the same fate that has happened to their peers but they may end up dead themselves.

                I understand the idea that this is supposed to be a bit tongue-in-cheek but coming back to school the day after students go missing and some are murdered seems a bit unbelievable to me. Also, Amy is attacked in quite a nasty way but casually goes back to school the next day and doesn’t bother to inform the authorities. The dialogue is not always at its best either. One kid states he doesn’t want to go to jail because they don’t have Nintendo. I know today’s kids are fairly materialistic but really?

                Having listed all of these complaints about the book, I still have to say that I really liked the overall story. The ending is sweet and I loved the character of Bobby who is sad and tragic even as he tries to be menacing. Amy and Max are also well written characters and I’d love to see them in a future book. This book has every bit of potential to be a great young adult novel and Ms. Duke has a lot of talent once the wrinkles get ironed out.

                I read the digital version of this book and it formatted well, although there were a few minor editing mistakes. The cover has significance to events in the book and pertains well to the young adult genre.