Monday 10 December 2012

The Uninvited by Liz Jensen - Book Review

Title: The Uninvited
Author: Liz Jensen
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 8th January 2013
Pages: 320
Format: E-Book - PDF
Genre: Literary Fiction / Dystopia
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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A seven-year-old girl puts a nail gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious? As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. 

Hesketh has never been good at relationships: Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioral patterns and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics. Nothing obvious connects Hesketh's Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behavior of his beloved stepson, Freddy. But when Hesketh's Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career, and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father. Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, The Uninvited is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo. (Goodreads Synopsis)

This book caught my attention right from the first few pages and it remained a gripping read until the end. The pacing was perfect with just enough new information coming to advance the story and yet still keep you guessing.

Hesketh was an extremely likeable, flawed hero and it was fascinating to see the tale unfold through his eyes. He was well portrayed and did grow in both acceptance and understanding as the book progress. The other characters had lesser roles to play but were still well-drawn and three-dimensional figures.

The end of this book perhaps wasn't quite what I'd been expecting, but was interesting none the less and certainly very thought-provoking. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy YA dystopia but are looking for something with a more adult slant.

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