I chose to read this book because I read The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey and I absolutely adored it. It was a book that stayed with me long after having read it (and I can’t wait for the movie to come out!!). But Fellside was really different, the writing was still great, something I like a lot in The Girl with all the Gifts, but it was not really the same kind of book. It was really creepy and mysterious and I actually liked that about this read.
Still, it was not one of my favourite book and I won’t re-read it. Only because it is not the genre I most enjoy. The author managed to create a really mysterious story. Everytime I came up with an idea to solve the mystery, it was destroyed by new evidence five pages later. I had so many questions and so many ideas it was really difficult to go on.
Nonetheless, I was not that invested in the book at the beginning. I felt that it was a bit slow and I could not keep track on all the characters, who they were and what they were doing; but then the last 150 pages kept me on edge and I read this last part in one sitting.
If you like mystery and paranormal, you need to check this out, I bet you won’t be disappointed.
The most fascinating thing about this book is the portrait of a secondary character, a nurse who joined the profession from a desire to help others. Starting with a struggle between duty and a legitimate anger over the crimes she believes were committed against a child, she gradually desensitizes herself to acts of negligence and violence that her self-righteousness allows her to justify, until there is little to distinguish her from the convicted felons that she tries to punish.
The main story was worthwhile, too, but the plot took forever to get moving. I enjoyed it overall, but this did not grab me and shake me the way that The Girl With All the Gifts did.
Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Finty Williams provides excellent narration.
Once again I am disappointed due to my own stupidity. For some reason (not reading the blurb, perhaps?), I assumed that this novel was set in the same world as The Girl with All the Gifts. It was not. There is no zombie plague here, if that’s what you were hoping for. But I'm probably the only dummy who didn't read the blurb.
Jess is a heroin addict who is sent to Fellside Prison after an unfortunate event ends with a child’s death. Jess has no recollection of his death but is filled with remorse and guilt. Alex was her friend, her only friend, and she felt protective of him. Now she doesn’t seem to care what happens to her and has given up on living. As she nears death from a self-imposed hunger strike, she sees Alex in ghostly form and realizes there is quite possibly a lot more to the story of his death than she was led to believe.
What follows is a story that I wouldn’t consider horror at all. It’s more a story of prison corruption, evil doers and innocents caught up in a big old mess. Jess struggles to discover the truth about Alex’s death while she also has figure out how to survive prison life. Jess is a great flawed character and the plot, for the most part, was gripping and grueling but I wasn’t really in the mood for this type of story when I picked it up and found myself a bit bored here and there.
The good? Flinty Williams narrates the audio and you can’t go wrong with that accent.
The bad? It’s a little slow and unless you’re into reading about prison politics you may find yourself a little bored too. There are a lot of characters and many are called by their first names and their last names by other characters. I had a hard time keeping them all straight and, in the end, I am not sure I did.
I’m giving it a three because it didn’t grab me but I didn’t despise it either.
2017 Horror Reading Challenge Book #6