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Overcast: (The 01:23 Bardo, Book 1 of 6) Paperback – December 3, 2011
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
About the Author
Ryan O’Riordan lives in a city you've probably never heard of in the middle of England and has always wanted to be a writer. His middle name is Ciaran, which means all his names end with the same sound (the technical term is assonance!) He is also a Pixar fanboy and has a dog called Zeus. Visit him on the web at www.ryanoriordan.com There’s more secrets to be found about the 01:23 Bardo series at www.0123.am
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Top customer reviews
The premise of this book sounds more interesting than it actually is. For the first few pages, things are okay, but it quickly goes downhill after that. The story is told in third person through Rebecca’s head but her character is flat and so are all the characters surrounding her. Teenage girls are certainly hard to write, especially if you’ve never been one, but Rebecca reads like a stereotypical background character on a television show geared towards teenage boys. She has no defining characteristics and little to no believable emotions. As a reader you feel no connection to her and are not given any reason to care about her or her story.
On top of this, the writing is not great. The grammar was a nightmare to navigate so if you are the kind of person who is picky about that kind of thing, steer clear. The descriptions of things were also very messy; they were either too vague or made no sense. Rebecca seems to jump to a lot of strange conclusions about things with no evidence to support them, which is frustrating to read. The setting was also unclear. We know that Rebecca’s family moves back to Matlock after the accident, but it wasn’t until I was halfway done with the book that I realized it was set in England. That is a major writing flaw.
When it comes down to it, this book could have used a lot more help in the editing process. The plot is interesting but incredibly weak and the writing needs a lot of work. You kind of get the sense that the author may not actually read that much, which is disappointing as reading is one of the best ways to learn to write. There is a second book to go with this one; I will not be reading it.
Overcast is the first book in The 01:23 Bardo series by young British author, Ryan O'Riordan. It is an exciting adventure with an element of mystery and reminiscence of Enid Blyton's The Famous Five series but updated for the modern audience.
In Overcast, Rebecca Conner has spent the last 3 years grieving the lost of her brother Ben. Instead of moving on with her life, she imagines her brother is hiding from a notorious London Mob Boss named Frank Magnus and the two of them are secretly working together to bring Magnus down.
Rebecca was content with her made up world but one night she is hit by a car and suddenly everything Rebecca dreamt became real. She learns that Magnus has taken Ben and he's also sent a hitman after her. Rebecca must now take the fight to Magnus in London and bring her brother back.
O'Riordan does great characterisation with truly developed and believable characters. Rebecca is a convincingly strong character and despite everything thrown at her in an unfamiliar world, she still puts on a brave face and get through them. To help support Rebecca in her journey, she is joined by her best friend and the pseudo-new kid Freddie. The trio shows a wonderful chemistry together and forms an incredible crime solving team.
Towards the end of the book, Rebecca notices that not all is quite right in her made up world and there seems to be other forces at work in shaping the world...
Overall Overcast is an excellent and exciting book with likeable characters. If you like adventure with a bit of mystery then definitely give this book a go.
As much as I would like to give you all of the details that made me stay up all night reading, I will leave them for you to discover.
One of the reasons I found this book so enjoyable was that it was totally unique. The setting was familiar and yet... having lived in New Jersey my whole life, it was very unfamiliar. The author did a nice job with context rich inner dialog and character relationships to keep me up to speed and the characters believable.
The tale... the actual root of the story was at first bewildering and in the end... really cool. I mean cool, like it stretches your imagination. It's not the normal story within a story... it's more like a puzzle within a story.
I wish I could break my "no spoiler rule" and tell you more about this book. I will tell you this... there are enough unanswered questions for me to look forward to reading more in this series.
Read more book reviews by Bernice at [...]