What’s it about?
“Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man–the school’s groundskeeper–knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.”-Goodreads Synopsis
My Review of The Felix Chronicles
RT Lowe does something wonderful in writing a YA Fantasy novel featuring a male lead. There simply isn’t enough of them out there. I genuinely believe that more YA-aged males would read more if there was more known material out there that they could relate to. Unfortunately, most stuff out there (that isn’t a comic book) is filled with protagonists that are either too young or too old. Lowe hits the nail on the head by giving readers a college-aged male lead.
He also writes believable young adults. They’re not college kids just interested in partying, and setting themselves up to make stupid mistake after stupid mistake. Instead, they party but they also study. They snark, drink, and have petty arguments but they’re there for each other.
The author takes amusing potshots at pop-culture that made me snicker and writes fantastically creepy ‘horror’ scenes that sent a chill down my back. So, there are a lot of positives to this book and I want to make sure the author gets his due. However, there’s a few negatives, too.
It doesn’t need to be a five hundred page book. It just doesn’t. At least a solid hundred pages of this amount to nothing but unnecessary filler. The author, for some reason, decides to go into an eleven page (counting front-back) cursive info-dump/exposition. I couldn’t read it. I hit this wall of cursive, forced myself to read through about three pages, said screw it, and read the last page of cursive. The fact that I could do that and not feel like I really missed anything says something.
While the author definitely has serious strengths in some aspects of his writing (especially believable characters – even if the dialogue isn’t necessarily always believable), unfortunately a lot of his non-action scenes are difficult to push through.
The plot is not unique. It follows your typical good versus bad, insert random twist here, fight or fright scene here, random twist there, fight or fright scene here. You get the picture. Now, there’s not a lot of unique writing out there any more, so that isn’t necessarily something that’s “wrong” with the book in and of itself, but it definitely doesn’t help it.
Overall, RT Lowe has some definite strengths in his writing and for a debut novel, this is pretty good. I am curious to see what he produces once he has a chance to refine his talent.
Title: The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen | Author: RT Lowe (site) | Publisher: CreateSpace (site) | Publication Date: 2015-5-20| Pages: 494 | ISBN: 151195843X | Genre(s): Young Adult & Fantasy | Language: English | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Triggers: Parental Death (both units) – Mentioned, not seen. Abduction. Death by gunshot. | Date Read: 2015-10-18 | Source: Received a copy free from the author in exchange for an honest review.