Leave the World Behind
Author: Rumaan Alam
Published: October 6, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 13-20, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another?
Suspenseful and provocative, Rumaan Alam’s third novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis.
This is yet another novel with an interesting premise, but fell very short for me. From the description, it seemed like Leave the World Behind was going to be an apocalyptic thriller, but it was not, it was more of a slow burner of a novel, and it fell through for me. Then the ending left too many questions unanswered, including what was even happening.
The novel does touch on race, class, family and shows what the world might look like when it is unknown times (much like we are in now). Alam’s writing style did not work for me. There is a bit of excessive vulgarity in regards to body anatomy and bodily functions. Alam is very ‘wordy’ with his words, which is interesting as this novel is a shorter one of around 230 pages.
This one unfortunately did not work for me so I cannot recommend it.
Author: Alex North
Published: July 7, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Dates Read: July 28- August 6, 2020
You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.
Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.
It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.
It wasn’t just the murder.
It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again…
After last year’s The Whisper Man did not work for me, I was not going to read North’s newest. But then I read the description, and I decided to give it a chance and this was the wrong decision for me. The Shadows had everything I would be interested in, but it didn’t work out for me. When we found out what happened to Charlie… Ok …. Whatever.. No big deal for me.
The one thing I did actually like was the reference to The Whisper Man in The Shadows, these books are in the same universe! And the covers both just belong together.
I think some of what might not have worked for me was the back and forth nature along with all the lucid dreaming stuff. These boys think they were having the same dream/can make things happen in their dreams.
I know this is an unpopular opinion, but all books/authors are not for everyone and sadly, after both of Alex North’s book failed to deliver for me I have decided he is an author I need to just stay away from.
Many thanks to the publisher Celadon Books for granting an audiobook copy to listen to and review via Netgalley.[Top]
Engines of the Broken World
Author: Jason Vanhee
Published: November 5, 2013
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2 stars
Merciful Truth and her brother, Gospel, have just pulled their dead mother into the kitchen and stowed her under the table. It was a long illness, and they wanted to bury her—they did—but it’s far too cold outside, and they know they won’t be able to dig into the frozen ground. The Minister who lives with them, who preaches through his animal form, doesn’t make them feel any better about what they’ve done. Merciful calms her guilty feelings but only until, from the other room, she hears a voice she thought she’d never hear again. It’s her mother’s voice, and it’s singing a lullaby. . . .
What a weird book. The whole time, I just sat, puzzled. This animal that wasn’t an animal, but looked like an animal, but kept changing its appearance to different animals . . . What?? I thought maybe, once the mother started moving and talking even though she was dead, things were gonna get good. Not really at all. I had such high hopes with the cover and the description. But by the end, I was more confused than when I started!
I’m not even sure how to describe what I read. I think it was supposed to be some kind of post apocalyptic tale, but even then, I’m not sure. Different worlds that can communicate with each other, ministers that look like animals but aren’t, snowstorm that shrinks the world. But then it just ends with no resolution. I just didn’t like it. I don’t get what happened. I don’t understand what the author was trying to say. I just don’t know. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend this book to anybody.