Wednesday, 13 February 2013


At the beginning of each meeting I ask the older group to award marks out of 10 for the book under discussion. The highest award for Kai-ro was 7/10, the lowest, 3/10. This was an indication that there were no real passions about this book, one way or the other.

We picked apart those responses a little further, and found disappointment, and a lack of empathy.

The disappointment came from the moment the Egyptian God's were introduced into the storyline. The opening chapters succeeded in creating suspense, in a vividly described post apocalyptic world. We were gripped by the plight of Stretch, searching for his father, in this cruel place, where survival is hard, and danger is real. And then it got a bit weird.

Even for those who were carried along by the plot, there emerged a lack of empathy with the main character which we felt may have been a major factor in the book receiving this lukewarm response. As the character became dominated by the God who inhabited his head, his actions became more those of the God, and he became unlikeable. For all but one of the group this was very problematic.

And once again, as the book headed towards its final chapter it was apparent that the main crisis of the opening pages, the disappearance of Stretch's father, was to remain open, unresolved. Did the group think this was open ended as stories often are, for them to write their own outcome? No. In their view this was an opportunity for a sequel. Groans all round.

Note to Publishers: We don't like sequels.

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