Author: Cliff McNish
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
e-ARC, 266 pages (Via Netgalley)
Date Published: April 1, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
15 year old Savannah Grey has never felt she's belonged. She keeps her distance, so she's surprised by her attraction to the new boy Reece. Then strange things begin to happen: nature, it seems, is exerting an overpowering force on the world. Birds behave strangely; gusts of wind blow leaves so fiercely they seem to lure people away. And Savannah learns she has supernatural powers. Nature has a purpose for Savannah and her friends. For they are on course to meet the vile and evil Orcrassa, who wants to destroy the world by corrupting nature. And it wants Savannah Grey to help realise its savage intent.
But I found it was severely lacking for me. I went into the book expecting to be creeped out, but I wasn’t. In fact, I found the entire concept ridiculous. And I know others didn’t so it must just be me and my five year old self’s love of Child’s Play, Freddy Krueger, and my continued love of all kinds of horror movies. I’m not easily frightened. I read Stephen King books when I was in elementary/middle school and I thought Savannah Grey was going to freak me out, but it didn’t.
The book is about aliens. I did not see that coming from the description. I could have lived with that though. Aliens can be scary enough. But these ones weren’t. The chapters that focused on the aliens were more clinical than scary and the goopy, drippy alien monster that spies on Savannah isn’t necessary terrifying, but more gross. I could see where the author was going, but it just didn’t work for me.
I was never creeped out or even slightly freaked. I was bored. And I found the characters to be a little boring too. Savannah is never really fleshed out and neither is her love interest, Reece. Both of them are connected by odd noises that their throats emit. Savannah realizes something strange is happening because her throat makes these strange noises and she finds it hard to swallow. Lo and behold, there is something in there. And she’s cool with that, for the most part. There’s something inside of her throat that she believes is a weapon. It moves when she breathes and attacks when it feels she’s threatened. The attacks being high-pitched sounds that can destroy things, as well as something that shoots out and practically vaporizes what it hits.
So Savannah Grey was an interesting read. Interesting because I was going to abandon it, but forged through. I’m sure others will, and have, enjoyed it, but I couldn’t get past the laughability of the conflict. It reminds me of The Happening, when all this bad stuff is going on and the cause turns out to be plants. It just doesn’t work for me. If you can stick it out to the end, the twist is well-written. I missed all the little hints along the way and was completely surprised.
Opening line: It was long past midnight when the Horror appeared at the end of Westmoreland Road. ~ pg. 1
Favorite lines: None this time
*This is the e-ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
1.5 - Only because of the twist at the end*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.
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