Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer's Reviews > Prelude to Mayhem

Prelude to Mayhem by Edward Aubry
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4.5 stars rounded down* (see below...)

Harrison and Dorothy are two of the very few who try to live in the aftermath of a bizarre melding of the present, the future and the magical. How the environment has been twisted, where all this tech junk came from and why the landscape is suddenly overrun by very real, very dangerous magical creatures are all a mystery as they try to survive the changes to their world. A voice on the radio gives them hope for the future as they make a terrifying trek across thousands of miles to what remains of Chicago...

I loved the dual POVs with Harrison and Dorothy. I thought their personalities complimented one another so that I never got bored or felt like I'd rather just follow one or the other. Their stats worked so well contrasting each other (like Harrison is an adult and Dorothy is 14) yet I never felt like one or the other character was contrived. Harrison and Dorothy were walking talking survivors of a very odd event and all they had to survive on is their bold thinking. What made them really work for me was that neither had the thought to kill another person - there were enough dangers in the world, what was left of humanity fighting one another never made the list. I adored this POV in the extreme! I love this kind of adventure, exploration story.

And the world building was excellent. Most of the story was the best kind of showing. You think a story is really good and satisfying then you read a book like Prelude to Mayhem where master story-showing is used and you realize this is how a story is meant to be told. Aubry missed one or two moments in the setup that became awkward to me (like when the future element being shown by Dorothy using the mapper but we'd already been told all about the future tech by Harrison - should have been flipped) but it only distracted me a little from the fascinating world. This same technique is used perfectly with Glimmer setting up John's story about the tech south (one of my favorite parts of Dorothy's story!) I liked how the world was twisted up, verdant green for miles broken up by random houses or strip malls, city centers with highways that just stop suddenly all with tech from some future date spread about like discarded junk. And the creatures... to rave too much would give away some of the best parts of the story... In fact I could have done with more creatures, even small, minor encounters to fully flesh out the world. These are minor complaints though as this totally unique world came to life through Harrison and Dorothy.

The plot was stellar too. The first 40% was some really great setup that opened the world to us and made us root for Harrison and Dorothy so that we'd follow them anywhere... I fell in love with Glimmer too and her Barbie wardrobe and I even started to feel a sisterly impatience yet care for John. The balance between the future tech story points and the magical creature story points was well done and I sat back for the wild ride, you are totally sucked in as a reader. At this point we get some really fascinating story developments... they aren't answered by the end of the book but we make some headway toward solving them. I didn't mind that either and it didn't even feel like a cliffhanger so much as a natural place to leave off before we'd start on a different sort of journey with two people we really care about (really 4 people if you count Glimmer and Mitchell which I totally do!!) This series is totally about the journey. It's not so much about traveling from point A to B which we do, do so much as the wild meetings, twists and turns and crazy happenings along the way.

*So why round my stars down to 4 instead of up to 5...? The end started to have some problems that were harder to overlook... Some of the logic of the city didn't make sense to me, and while there is a strong conflict boost at the end the way it is resolved is rather dull (compared to the other plot points!). Also it's rather obvious story wise why things turned out the way they did with Glimmer... It's not that I hated the ending... I believe the next book will be very fascinating and will be well worth the read and this end was setting up for it. Thinking about this book as I write this review, I find myself changing my mind... I really am split evenly between 4 and 5 stars, but the characters and world are so stellar in this and so much of the plot really was exciting and grounded in human nature in a way I truly admire...so I'm rounding up!

BOTTOM LINE: Creative world with spot on characters equal a vital dystopian read...

Thanks to Edward Aubry and Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...
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Reading Progress

October 24, 2016 – Shelved
October 24, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
November 13, 2016 – Started Reading
November 13, 2016 –
page 0
November 13, 2016 –
5.0% ""Perhaps a doomsday weapon had finally been put to use. But discoveries like future music, dinosaurs, and sentient sunflowers complicated that model. It wasn’t an ending; it was a bizarre, colossal shuffling, and Harrison’s life went on.""
November 13, 2016 –
9.0% "Okay this was a neat premise to me as I pulled from the quote... I like both Harrison and Dorothy! Not sure about John yet... but Glimmer is very odd! I understand about the butterfly wings but what does the rest of her look like?"
November 13, 2016 –
13.0% "So funny how well Dorothy and John get along! She got him necessities... Glimmer is the size of a Barbie! And she stimulates the inner ear, doesn't talk at all!!"
November 13, 2016 –
14.0% "His story of the event was crazy!! Chipmunk Glimmer voice was cute if cruel..."
November 13, 2016 –
15.0% "So funny Harrison's civilization- love that the compass can help him find places and that electricity still works (at odds with most dystopian stories!)"
November 13, 2016 –
18.0% "There are cool things about the dual POV and some redundancies - I liked learning the future element from Dorothy (mapper) as it was showing but unfortunately Harrison already told us! We accept John's story because of Glimmer..."
November 14, 2016 –
22.0% "This future junk stuff is interesting... not sure I'm with Dorothy on going back there to get more; John seems pretty firm about not wanting to go... Glimmer is a pixie who used to live in a tree with tons of others, so cute..."
November 14, 2016 –
25.0% "Harrison learned his lesson through the homunculus demon and McDonald's! Loved how Glimmer took care of the "problem" haha..."
November 14, 2016 –
32.0% "Gustavo was cool (love the description of the scales) and the crystal lure monster was scary cool... loved the convo about who should make the decisions... not sure I would go down those stairs... will they find the werewolf lady?"
November 14, 2016 –
36.0% "Dorothy and John found a lab with some messed up kitties...and oh no he didn't...!"
November 14, 2016 –
41.0% "So the voyeur is like a bug literally the creature and the device. Glimmer can see them and hide from them so she could kill the one following Harrison- you have to kill a real faerie to make one! They find a future subway and find 9 yo Mitchell who hid from a nice lady who left..."
November 14, 2016 –
43.0% "Okay the killer cats were such fun!! Gotta love the unexpectedness of it!! Also John's tactic to abandon and what will Dorothy do?"
November 14, 2016 –
47.0% "A shell spell in the tunnel- I sure would like to know who the villain is after Harrison...? And how did they know about the tunnel and the vital Milwaukee point? Pretty convenient..."
November 14, 2016 –
49.0% "She made it home but no John... I'm sure it's hard for her even as she's angry because if he had stayed they'd still be together!!"
November 14, 2016 –
52.0% "Oh no!! No!!!!! They can't find her..."
November 14, 2016 –
55.0% "Poor lonely Dorothy... is found! Love it! And now we know what happened to John..."
November 15, 2016 –
71.0% "Love Dorothy and Harrison together!! She struggled to leave but Harrison going along with her made it possible, love that! The house was obviously a danger but I loved that interaction and how it made Dorothy the hero this time!! The bug fight was excellent too!"
November 15, 2016 –
76.0% "The ribbon barrier was a cool idea but then it got stupid... you repel people from coming to your city but invite them in through the radio - rather a contradiction!! And the arresting Harrison was a definite conflict boost!"
November 15, 2016 –
81.0% "After a long boring process by which they learned only that he was born in July 4, 1976 and could still open locks we finally leave Harrison's cell to meet the President, oh joy...."
November 15, 2016 –
95.0% "Okay that worked out well. I knew Claudia was one of the four - I liked how the adoptions worked and that Dorothy is a genius - I suspected but didn't see the point of it being true... I knew about Glimmer too, obvious but delightful! Also some of their problems would never have happened with her along..."
November 15, 2016 –
100.0% "Elaine huh...is that a future portent?!"
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: fiction-young-adult
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: g-r-fairies
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: g-r-dragons
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: genre-high-fantasy
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: g-t-another-world
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: g-t-future
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: g-a-paranormal-powers
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: genre-dystopian
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: g-a-magic
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: genre-sci-fi
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: imo-monsters-unique
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: imo-suspenseful
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: series-book-1
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: stars-4-5
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: imo-neat-premise
November 15, 2016 – Finished Reading
November 23, 2016 – Shelved as: imo-great-setup
November 23, 2016 – Shelved as: imo-could-read-again
November 23, 2016 – Shelved as: reviewed
November 23, 2016 – Shelved as: rp-curiosity-quills-press
July 17, 2017 – Shelved as: review-on-amazon

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