Few books leave me feeling so drained and exhausted as this- it was an incredible experience. Mary's journey captivated my mind so fully that every tiFew books leave me feeling so drained and exhausted as this- it was an incredible experience. Mary's journey captivated my mind so fully that every time I looked up from the book it was like gasping for air, looking around my snug home and slowly coming to the confused realization that I was not, in actual fact, battling the great wilderness on my own.
Mary's journey is an incredible challenge, both physically and mentally. What begins as an impossibly long trek home turns into a dark fight against death and madness. The reader is taken along on this excruciating journey, and soon comes to realize that survival is not just about knowing where to go or getting enough food. It's also about keeping your wits together in the face of starvation, and staring down the enormous, cruel, indifferent void of the wilderness without going mad.
James Alexander Thom is an incredibly talented writer to bring the reader such detail and depth in his story. I am in awe not only of his writing skills, but also of the character Mary herself. That she did this and survived is a testament to the human spirit: the lengths it will go and the obstacles it will surmount. Utterly inspiring. Thank you for capturing this magic, Mr Thom!...more
"War makes monsters of men, you once said to me, Todd. Well, so does too much knowledge. Too much knowledge of your fellow man, too much knowledge of"War makes monsters of men, you once said to me, Todd. Well, so does too much knowledge. Too much knowledge of your fellow man, too much knowledge of his weakness, his pathetic greed and vanity, and how laughably easy it is to control him."
Would you start a war to save someone you loved? Or trust a monster to save that very same person? What's the point of feeling horror and disgust at something if you don't act on it? Actually, what's the point of feeling anything if you don't act on it?
And is a monster ever redeemable?
I'm still reeling from this. The last third of the book is so beyond epic that I just don't have words to describe it, and so I'm just going to post here the elements that made this book get under my skin and rattle my bones:
Mild spoilers ahead
- An honest, innocent man who cannot lie, but who listens very closely and understands... this man steps out of the mists alone to confront and stop an army: Wilf
- A passionate, hurt, blind boy ready to lead an army: Lee
- A "natural Pathway", a man so empathetic and open that he is a born messenger: Bradley
- A man who hears everything that the Spackle hear, a man who hears the whole world: Ben
- A Spackle who can hide his thoughts like men do, and who is vent on revenge: 1017
- A bright, courageous girl racing to save the one she loves: Viola
-A Monster and the Essence of Good chained together, feeding off each other (because if you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you), struggling aginst each other and not knowing who will get tamed, who will get killed: the Mayor and Todd
Major spoilers from here on
I loved the way that the Mayor's evil was mounted up to coming from feeling and understanding too much, to suffering from the weight of it and how he went mad trying to control it. As opposed to Ben's going with all he understood.
I can actually understand the Mayor. Hating his Noise, trying to control it as a result of suffering from it. It's so much harder to just go along wih it like Ben did. Though of course Ben should be the example here. After all, isn't hope and acceptance always better than hate and control?
As for the romance in the book, very well played out. I love how Todd and Viola save and forgive each other over and over and over again. It is absolutely beautiful, and I agree with Viola: it feels like, finally.
Overall, incredible ending to the triology. Absolutely epic....more