Friday, 14 November 2014

Review: Spiders

Publication Date: November 6th 2014        
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

From the author of Thirteen: a fast-paced thriller for teens set in a world where ordinary kids are confronted by evil.

Adam may have survived once, but a cult still has him in its sights. And this time he may not escape with his life...

Abbie's dad is an undercover agent, tasked with exposing dangerous cults. He's normally able to maintain his distance, but this time Abbie's worried he's in too deep.

Megan was sure she and Adam were safe, but now he's gone missing on a school ski trip in Scotland and she's the only one who can help him . . .

The web is closing in around them . . .

Spiders is hard to review, though I knew what it was about I was still confused, it's written in third person so we have a range of different perspectives that it's a jumble of just names at first and never one for long to get comfortable with until the ball started rolling.

It's weird and twisted, as I expected since we're dealing with a cult religion that warps views and distorts the lines between real and real, targets vulnerable people and convince them that this is the right way, that doing something completely dangerous that'll cause a mass murder and that they're hero's as they drink poison or jump in front of a train or put a gun in their mouth. You can question insanity, but how can you question someone that's completely insane that they truly believe what they're saying and doing is right? Spiders explores that ruthlessly and as honestly as it could, it didn't sugar coat things and I appreciated that. A few issues with the plot and believability on the teenagers and authority figures, but that side of things was great, and that's what kept me reading.

My problem with Spiders though, is not the execution, but the characters involved, and when it comes to the cult characters, that's a good thing, I'm not insane, people. But even the characters you're supposed to connect to and feel sorry for and root for, I just...didn't get that. No connection, didn't really care who got caught or what happened to them really and they all blurred into one and it probably didn't help that it switched all the time from one to another without warning.  Then there's some things that happen that are chapters worth of something that didn't make a difference to the story and came back that made it pointless. It could've easily been skipped over and sorted out another way, so it felt more of a filler to make it longer than adding to the story, and considering it's not a lengthy story to begin with, that's a no no for me. Spiders is also missing an atmosphere, we're in a cult story, people are abducted, seeing their fears as a way of conveying the evils of the world, and in some cases, literally life or death, there was no sense of urgency or the intense scenes you'd expect, which ruined the flow of it for me, especially those final scenes.

Spiders while made good on its promise of the inner workings of a cult and how it moves lacked atmosphere, character connection and intenseness you'd expect from a story like this.
Rating: 3/5