Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On Riddles: A Review of Inside Evil by Geoffrey Wakeling

Inside EvilOkay, what can I say about this book? The synopsis is misleadingly intriguing, the idea is great, but the execution is barely adequate. Allow me to explain.

There is a curse that passes from person to person...That takes the life of one person and then infects whoever finds their body (or is there when they die, I guess). When Roberta is cursed, she finds out that she has eight days to solve a riddle that will allow her to cross over to some mysterious land, and thus...not die. She is helped by her good friend Sam, as well as a group of other towns folk who are all unwittingly trying to solve the same mystery.

Positive Comments

 I did like certain aspects of the world building. For example, I really enjoyed the idea of a curse that passes between people like a virus. I liked the idea to trying to solve this supernatural mystery.

I enjoyed the ensemble cast and the shifts in point of view. I felt that this added depth to the story, with each character holding a piece of what is in reality a very simple puzzle.

Critical Comments

In a story where the main threat is that a character might die, you have to be made to care about that character. That character needs a personality, emotions, history, loved ones. Roberta is given very little development, I can't say anything remarkable about her, and so the threat of her dying did not phase me. I was left really not caring what happened to her, and that is a marked failure on the part of the author.

The entire book is more of a prequel than anything, and there is absolutely no resolution to the mystery.


Glancing at Amazon, I notice that this 185 page book is going for $4...That seems high to me. It isn't a terrible book, and it's readable in a pinch, but only if you can get it for a good price. In all reality, though, I can't recommend this book as it stands right now. If the larger series turns out to be better, I'll gladly issue a positive recommendation on this one. All in all, though, is a 2.5 star book.

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