Wednesday, April 6, 2016

E is for Elysium by Kelvin James Roper Part 1

For a century the world has been savaged by the S18K4 virus. The Great Pathogen swept across the globe like a planetary cancer. Populations dwindled, societies fell, economies plummeted, and ideologies crumbled. 

It is now the age of reclamation. Governments strive to take back land and yet, in the south-west of England, their efforts are obstructed. 

A coastal village has thrived in the intervening years and, secluded from the rest of the world, have grown fearful of what might befall them were they exposed. 

None have discovered them for a century, yet when two castaways appear a week after the mysterious death of Richard Kelly, the prospect of the village seems ill-fated to all. 

My Review:

Elysium was okay. I didn't hate it and I do want to read the second part. I liked the characters. They were interesting and I want to find out what happens to them and their hidden town.
I also liked the world that was beginning to be built by Roper. His descriptions brought the places and people to life.
The story was also well written. I didn't feel jerked back and forth, even though the story was told from multiple points of view. I also liked the pacing and felt it was building to something big.

These things are generally what help me to enjoy a book. Any one of them being off can be a major thing that ruins an entire book. In fact in this circumstance they were what saved the book for me. Because if they had been off as well I wouldn't be interested in reading part two.
In fact, maybe if Elysium was combined with part two I would have enjoyed it more? But since I haven't read part two yet I can't say that for sure that would fix it or not. It could also be a labeling issue.If it were labeled as an episode, which a lot of novels put out in serial form do, I wouldn't expect certain things.  But as a part one of two I did expect certain things that just weren't there.

The main things that I had issues with:

Ok. The ending. I'm going to try to explain my issue without giving away too much. It basically ended in the middle of a scene. At least that's the way it felt to me. Again I don't want to give anything away but it's like the book just stopped. I've had that happened with books before. I hated it then too. Now again, maybe this is a labeling issue. I've read 'episodes' of serial novels that have ended this way that don't annoy me as much. But that's mainly because I've come to look at these episodes almost like episodes from a tv show. It's going to be short and have a dramatic ending to keep me reading next week, or month. I've also come to look at them as chapters of a complete novel that is just being released one chapter at a time.  But Elysium doesn't seem to be written this way. So based on the part two I figured there was going to be a cliff hanger ending, but that still doesn't explain the 'ending in the middle of a scene' part.

The other issue I had was that from the beginning Elysium felt as if it was building to something. Either they would be found by the rest of the world, or they would prove Kelly's death was a murder, or just something. By the end it felt as if the whole book had just been about collecting the pieces of a puzzle, not actually assembling them.  It was extremely unsatisfying. I mean it wasn't as if a few things had been answered, but there were strings left hanging. As it generally is in most books that are part of a series. Instead it just ended.

Overall I just feel that either part one and two should be packaged together or maybe it should be separated at a different point then what it was.
I would like to think, based on what I've read so far, that part two would pull everything together and give the story as a whole a satisfying ending.  That I'd finally be able to see what picture the finished puzzle made. But I haven't read it yet so I'm basing this review on what I have read.

Do I plan on picking up the second part when I get a chance? Yes. Would I read other stuff by the author? Yes. Unfortunately I feel that since I didn't have part two on hand now that when I get it I will have to read part one all over again so I can get the experience of the full story.

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