Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Review: The Uninvited by Liz Jensen
The Uninvited is a dystopian novel set in the present day, where children start behaving oddly and attacking adults close to them. From a few isolated incidents, modern society soon reaches breaking point and a new equilibrium is reached.
The underlying message of The Uninvited - that our current society and population growth is unsustainable - is an interesting one, and is explored in a novel way. However, I felt the idea was not delved into as much it could have been, and I, as a fan of dystopian fiction, was left wanting more. The start is absorbing but slow, with the rest of the novel feeling rushed which leads to very little attention being paid to the issues arising from the collapse of society. Instead the book jumps forward to a unsatisfying ending.
The novel itself is easy to read, with the characters, particularly Hesketh, making an emotional connection with the reader. The inner monologue from Hesketh, was particularly interesting in its portrayal of someone with Aspergers, and this aspect of his charactersation was particularly well done. The logical approach of Hesketh makes it easier to take in some of the more far-fetched aspects of the plot.
I enjoyed the book on the whole, and finished it in a few hours; the intrigue surrounding the source of the 'pandemic' carrying me onwards. The eventual explanation is somewhat unexpected although not all together convincing, which the author alludes to with a line "Let string theory work that out". One niggle with the ARC version was extremely poor formatting, with many missing letters and several misspellings This made reading it on my Kindle frustrating, and hopefully the retail version is better.
Overall the premise is a good one, with an intriguing take on the issue of overpopulation, however the author fails to take full advantage, and as such the novel is merely a good read - rather than something more outstanding or thought provoking.
[An ARC was provided by NetGalley]