Adiga’s first novel, The White Tiger won him the esteemed Man-Booker Prize in 2008. It was a compelling and confronting, cynical and violent portrayal of the caste system, corruption and business in modern India. This, his second novel embodies many of the same themes but with more gentleness and humour. His cast of characters are the inhabitants of the Vishram Society tower block of flats in Mumbai, scheduled for demolition. A hefty payout, and extra “sweeteners” are on offer from the ailing property developer who is determined to leave his mark and prove his rise from the poverty of his village birthplace before ill health carries him off. The “Last Man” is “masterji” a retired “pucca” school teacher who is finally the only resident to refuse the enticements. This is a social satire and a grim portrait of the different reactions of basically good people to circumstance. Adiga’s writing has many moments of beauty and his depiction of his characters and the urban landscapes Mumbai is fascinating and memorable.
Review by Sue
Alison Goodman’s sequel Eona continues the path readers were left with in the first novel Eon. Eona flows through a series of rapid events which leave you grasping for time in the real world as you are continually carried away throughout her journey to become the woman and dragoneye she longs to be. The character Eona is tested by every turn of the page as she finds herself in a desperate battle to control her abilities and discovers the consequences from the actions she makes with them. Eona is an extremely well written novel and highly anticipated after the nearly 2 year-long wait, but it is definitely worth it. It is full of magic, romance, fighting and surprises. Eona is not one to miss.
Review by Karine
Yvonne Woon creates a mysterious mist-shrouded world out of Gottfried Academy where the story follows a teenage girl, Renée, who is forced to board there after the unfortunate death of her parents. Finding Gottfried peculiar and strange Renée finds herself in a tangling storyline where all the peices are scattered only to be put back again. This novel sets your mind on edge with riddles and languages as you follow Renée as you begin to suspect the supernatural. With the incorporation of elements of Latin and philosophy, Woon makes it all run smoothly and easy to understand and most importantly all the more enjoyable for the history lesson she subtly gives her readers.
Review by Karine
The Carrier of the Mark is Leigh Fallon’s first novel and it is most definitely promising! Set in Ireland Fallon incorporates the its history and legends throughout the novel. The story follows Megan Rosenberg who moves to Ireland with her father. While settling in, she hears whispers and experiences some odd occurrences all circulating around the mysterious family, the DeRises. One of the children, Adam DeRis captures her immediate attention with his gruff yet gorgeous exterior with Megan feeling an impeccable pull between them. Throughout the novel Megan discovers she is one of the ‘Marked Ones’, a group of four individuals who can harness the elements. With a mix of Twilight romance and Mortal Instruments action, The Carrier of the Mark takes you on a journey of a powerful and gifted person who will do anything to protect the ones she loves.
Review by Karine