Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Review: Jemma 7729 Phoebe Wray

Jemma 7729
Phoebe Wray
219 pages trade
Edge 15.95

See if you recognize this theme - young protagonist, approaching a time of life when a life changing choice must be made or must comply with a society rule that will drastically change or end their life. The hero, living in a closed society, domed most of the time, does not comply and escapes. Meets a grizzled time worn parent figure that teaches them the ropes and eventually the hero grows and returns to the city to free those left behind and possibly change society. What does that sound like? Logans Run? The World Inside? Yep, been done many times before. So what makes Wray think that she can do it better? Well maybe that is the problem. I had many instances when I felt that I really could not continue reading this novel. Its starts with an unpleasant beating Wray meted out to a 7 year old female. Other sections I felt really needed to be tightened up or rewritten. It may be that Wray is uncomfortable still with the novel format, many sections were just plain difficult to read. Then again, as young adult fiction? That might well be another story. The less complex characters often are better received by that age group. The plot is often if not clumsy then overly simplistic. So in that I would recommend it to a younger audience.

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