Monday, April 29, 2013

[Book Review] The Uninvited

Title: The Uninvited
Author: Liz Jensen
Date Published: January 8th, 2013
Source: ARC
Genre: Sci-Fi, Suspense, Adult Fiction
Rating: ★★★★


About the Book:
A seven-year-old girl puts a nail gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious? As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry.  
Hesketh has never been good at relationships: Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioral patterns and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics. Nothing obvious connects Hesketh's Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behavior of his beloved stepson, Freddy. But when Hesketh's Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career, and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father.  
Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, The Uninvited is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo.

A haunting and spell-binding book that pushes the reader to think and examine the world in a whole new perspective. Hesketh Lock shall seduce you with his awkwardness and amaze you with his origami prowess! (LOL. I've always wanted to say that when I was reading the book. And it actually rhymes!)

The beginning of the book is gruesome as it paints a young child murdering her own grandmother with a nail gun. There was no motive, no warning and the whole thing was unprecedented. Then, we delve into the story through Hesketh Lock's point of view. 

Hesketh Lock has Asperger's Syndrome, making him a cut above the rest. He's not very good with personal relationships and with social interactions as a whole. The fact that he's attractive and good-looking cannot compensate for his weirdness, but his talent in spotting trends and patterns makes him an asset to the company he works for.

Personally, reading the story through Hesketh's thoughts took some time to get used to, but after a while, I found him adorable. He's awkward, weird and different, but I think that's part of Hesketh's charm as a character. Despite his highly logical nature, he's loyal and caring, especially to Freddy.

I also appreciate how Hesketh was portrayed consistently throughout the book. Some of his comments to other people could seem impolite and improper but they sound completely normal to Hesketh, and this was one of the things that I really found hilarious. (And I admit that this sounds odd because this is a suspenseful book. All I can say is that I have weird taste.)

The truth was, I was expecting some sort of magical explanation about the erratic behavior of children from all over the world. I expected the plot to be something along the lines of Hesketh finally letting go of his overly logical nature and accepting something that science cannot explain. Then he'll do something that could actually reverse what was happening. In the end, though he did realize that he was the last one to accept what was happening and that everything could not be explained by science, he simply remained as another casualty in a war to save the Earth.

Oh, and the best part about this book is how everything fell into place. How everything must succumb to the children and revert back to the old ways in order to save the Earth from man's greed and abuse. I cannot overemphasize how much I enjoyed this book. Not only is it suspenseful and haunting, it also sends an important message about Earth and nature.

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