Friday, June 28, 2013
ARC Review: Some Quiet Place
Flux Books, 2013
Scheduled to release July 8
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The main reason I wanted to read this book is the stunning cover-what was going on there, I wondered. It seemed to promise a dark and creepy read against a pastoral setting, which is fairly accurate. The setting is rural Wisconsin with many scenes set at the farms of the characters. Additionally the premise has some unique and very scary moments that occur later in the book and specifics are omitted here due to spoilers.
Main character Elizabeth Caldwell is different. She feels nothing but possesses the ability to see Emotions and Elements, which ordinary humans cannot. For example, when someone feels scared, Fear appears and she can see that but he cannot touch her; similarly Joy may show up for someone else but never for Elizabeth. This inability to display emotions causes most of her fellow townspeople to shun her, disrupts her dysfunctional family life moreso, and surprises/annoys/intrigues the Emotions and Elements especially Fear who plays a bit role in this story. However as Elizabeth has aged, things seem to be changing with a sinister presence lurking and a mysterious woman urging her to remember. "Remember what?" asks Elizabeth and the reader; we do eventually discover but it takes a very long time to get there.
Like other reviewers have mentioned, the hardest part of this book comes from its basic characterization. As mentioned, main character Elizabeth does not feel emotions; this also means that her personality is a bit flat and hard to connect with. Other characters like her brother Charles, her improbable friend Maggie, and the boy she kind of flirts with Joshua appealed to me but there wasn't really enough of them to compensate for Elizabeth's lack of personality even though the last pages helped to rectify that. The most exciting part comes toward the end when Elizabeth must confront her dark stalker-I found the sequences her very tense and I was on the edge of my seat. It's just that it took so long to get there with a love triangle tangled up and flashbacks that Elizabeth dreams about.
Overall: An interesting premise that struggles with characterizations and is a bit overlong.
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