Author: Roger Colby
Title: Come Apart
‘In our lives there is always one event that we wish we could change, to travel back and make a step to the left rather than to the right. Michael Prosper is one such individual who finds himself trapped in his own small town, his mind clouded with amnesia, a vague mist that slowly clears to reveal a waking nightmare of a life gone wrong. It is the story of teenage Danny who also suffers from memory loss, but as the mystery unravels they both discover connections with each other and with the strangeness of the town that ultimately leads them on a journey within, and when the truth about them both is finally revealed, the curtain rises on choices that will forever alter their perception of themselves and the people around them.’
Keeping up with these reviews is something I’ve been slacking in and I’m sorry about that. Reading all these other books by big authors that don’t need my money makes me feel like something of a traitor. :-p Then again, A Song of Ice and Fire is such an amazing read I really don’t feel like excusing myself.
Today’s book is by fellow blogger Roger Colby. I’ve followed him for a while and I enjoy his blog as his posts are an entertaining mix of humour, tips on writing and his own take on what’s happening in the publishing world here and there. This book I snagged when it released, but it’s only recently I’ve been able to read it. Here goes.
Now that I’ve read the book I feel I understand the cover. However, to begin with I really didn’t get the significance of some of the images and the style of the cover itself. Including the locket is a great touch, as is the computer-style writing that overlays the whole thing. I also like the green tones to the cover as offers even more of a computer-y (yes it is a word) feel to what I’m seeing.
Michael is a bit of a bum who doesn’t really understand what’s happening in his life. He can’t hold down a job, or a girl, everyone in town seems to know something about him that he doesn’t and it makes him uneasy. As you might expect.
He has several run ins with a young lad named Danny (familiar to him, but not) and a wandering vagrant who always seems to have a tale of happenings that seem to take their root in conspiracy theories about aliens and people diving into your brain.
Mix that all together in a big pot of small American town with football teams, hat-wearing sheriffs and folk who always know everyone else’s business, and you have a batter that makes the body of this novel. Throw in some weird happenings, inexplicable red lights, sounds and sensations and you have a bit of creep factor too.
The base of the story is good. I like the idea, however the punch line took too long in coming. I found myself occasionally losing interest and taking ages in coming back to the book. It’s not massively long and yet I found myself reading four of George R R Martin’s monster novels from the Song of Ice and Fire series in the middle of reading this one book.
Michael spent a long time being confused. His confusion fed into me to the point that I got frustrated with him for not doing more to find out what the hell was going on. Because it became plain very fast that if he didn’t know what was going on, I wasn’t going to either.
The vagrant/bum type was actually my favourite of the whole lot, (which, should you read the book yourself should give you a bit of a giggle). I think this is because he seemed the most honest of all the characters. And, in the last 20% of the book when things really begin to kick off, I found that what he had to say was the most intriguing.
The sheriff was just a nasty piece of work. He just gave me chills. Good, I suppose, but there was a vague sense of I think I’ve seen this somewhere else. Not in a bad way, only that I recognise this character from other literature and from films too and it took a little of the mystery away from him as a character amongst the rest.
Despite how much I liked the story and how interesting the characters were, this book was just too hard going for me. It was too abstract. In portions of it I simply couldn’t place what was happening and I feel, at times there was too much information surrounding what was going on, rather than focusing on the crunchy core of the matter.
More than that, there were a couple of phrases that just jarred with me throughout and made me gnash my teeth as I read them. I don’t know if it’s an across the pond sort of thing (USA vs UK) but there were points when I had to put down my Kindle, take a deep breath and then go on.
Despite that the formatting of the book was very well done. I know Roger formatted the book himself using Scrivener, and the fact that he can do so with a piece of software I also use is very encouraging. Formatting for Raven and I doesn’t cost a bundle, but if we’re able to do it was well as Roger did for free, then that’s one issue knocked off my list of many when it comes to SORB.
Average across all scores is 2.5 which is an easy to write 2 and a half stars.
Looking back over my notes I can safely say this is a taste thing. I love my vampires, my dragons, my elves and my swords. I also love my fae, my guns, my big epic battles and car chases. Yes, this book did have a car chase in it (!) but the surrounding matter just didn’t suit my tastes. I think, mainly because it leans towards sci-fi rather than ‘traditional fantasy.’
Those of you who enjoy sci-fi however, I’m sure you’ll find plenty in here to whet your literary appetites. 🙂