My First ARC Review.

I recently got invited to join the ‘Vine’ program at Amazon.com. Selected reviewers are offered Advanced Reader’s Copies of novels as well as other junk; movies, CDs, electronics, etc. to use and keep in exchange for honest reviews. Here’s my first review for their program:

‘John the Revelator’, the debut novel from Peter Murphy (not the singer from Bauhaus) tells the tale of John Devine as he grows from youth, (where he’s forced by his dear-but-strange mother to kill a sick and injured rabbit they find while out walking), to near adulthood, (where he forces a pushy, nosey religious, nut-job of a neighbor off the property and out of his home at crossbow point), in a small town in Ireland.

John, a nerdy bookish boy with an odd obsession with worms and intestinal parasites comes out of his shell when he meets Jamey Corboy. While Jamey doesn’t lead John into a life of trouble he is part of the catalyst which sets off a series of shocking and terrible events. Interspersed with the story are glimpses of the dark and sinister dreams John has suffered from all his life and short stories sent and given to John by Jamey. While experiencing the apocalypse in one of these dreams he’s shocked by the realization “We were never warned that it would look so beautiful.” I found that particularly disturbing.

John reminds me a bit of myself at his age. Bookish and drawn out by a neighborhood character. I found myself in quite a few similar situations.

Most definitely a page turner, I found myself forgoing sleep to keep reading and when I reached the expected but still unexpected ending. I wanted there to be more. Murphy is a writer of rare talent that drags you right into the grit and reality of his story and hold you there from beginning to end.

My only complaint, if it can be counted as a complaint is the use of unfamiliar slang and phrases. Some are easy to guess while a few sent me running for Google to set myself straight. I’m still not sure what a ’70’s footballer haircut’ is supposed to look like or if it was a compliment or insult but these moments rarely detract from the story.

Write more, Mr. Murphy, please. Read this book, seriously, read it.

Hawk (advanced advanced reader, woo!)

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