Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Humanity's Hope by Pembroke Sinclair REVIEW 2/5

Even the cover is a bit misleading on this one. I hate to bash on another indie author, but Sinclair has quite a few books out all released in the last year and a bit. That could tell you something. This zombie story follows Caleb and his tryst with the authorities after he discovers a life-changing fact about himself - the clue is in the title - and then does a runner.

So much of this plot makes no sense: authorities who can't even use a little subterfuge and subtlety to get what they want (something they already had); a twist for the sake of a twist which leaves massive gaping holes in everything that happened previously; random events to push the plot, or convoluted decisions to push the plot (that even Caleb himself questions his motivations); and a protagonist with narcissistic tendencies (but in his defence, it's not his fault - at no point are we as readers left in any doubt about what he is thinking.) This is on-the-rail-writing, with tell-me back story and tell-me feelings: tell-me feelings that are repeated so often the only purpose is surely filler on the writer's behalf.

There's very little creativity here, phrases repeated, action repeated, tendrils of pain repeated, giving me tendrils of pain too. It's all very rote and by the book. Maybe I'm being harsh as this is aimed at the YA market - but don't they deserve something better? Both in writing, and plot? Honestly, Caleb is supposed to be a badass who has survived out there in 'the wild' among the zombies, but all he does throughout (and this isn't helped by the tell-me nature of the narrative) is whine, second-guess, and doubt himself. Maybe I'm forgetting what being a 17-year-old was really like!

Added to this is that it has no ending to speak of. Previous books of Sinclair are labelled volume if they are in a series, which this is not (yet). If there isn't to be a follow-up then I would definitely think about that ending. Helpfully, it would perhaps not burn plot holes in all that had just gone!

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