Review to The Deserter by Peadar Ó Guilín
The humans are weak and vulnerable. Soon the beasts that share their stone-age world will kill and eat them. To save his tribe, Stopmouth must make his way to the Roof, the mysterious hi-tech world above the surface. But the Roof has its own problems. The nano technology that controls everything from the environment to the human body is collapsing. A virus has already destroyed the Upstairs, sending millions of refugees to seek shelter below. And now a rebellion against the Commission, organized by the fanatical Religious, is about to break. Hunted by the Commission’s Elite Agents through the overcrowded, decaying city of the future, Stopmouth must succeed in a hunt of his own: to find the secret power hidden in the Roof’s computerized brain, and return to his people before it is too late. Peadar O Guilin has followed his extraordinary debut The Inferior with an equally original and pulse-racing sequel in which human primitivism collides with futuristic technology.
Why exactly did I start reading this book again? I’m not sure but I wish I hadn’t read it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that this book is downright awful and a pain to read, that’s clearly not the case. The author did a pretty good job describing the world he created and everything.
It’s only the cannibalism part that left me retching. I’m no fan of zombies, cannibals or anything else remotely human that feeds on human flesh. I might ignore this distaste, if the story is really awesome and there’s enough of a counterpart for the gruesome scenes. But If the descriptions of said feeding are as pictorial and detailed as is the case with “The Deserter” than the book no longer works for me.
The plot itself is great. The story unfolds in a fascinating way, the characters are manifold and realistic, their different personalities reflected in the way they speak. There are however some things that are just plain unbelievable. Some “Deus ex machina” moments that destroyed part of the otherwise great storyline.
Also I had some problems with Guilin’s style of writing. The way he characterized the different persons by altering the way they speak was done great but otherwise his style just didn’t really work for me.
All in all the book is anything but bad, it’s really quite well done, but it just wasn’t my kind of book. Fans of more gory and gruesome scifi-novels will most likely enjoy it though.
PEADAR O. GUILIN has been writing curious stories for as long as he can remember. One of his school reports claimed that he had “a talent for communication, which he abuse[d].” Since then, he has written plays, published short stories, and performed as a standup comedian. He has taken part in a project to translate the Linux operating system into Irish and is fluent in French and Italian. Peadar lives in Dublin where he works for a giant computer company. His first book The Inferior was also published by David Fickling Books. You can learn more about Peadar and his work at Frozenstories.com.