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Sin Paperback – July 13, 2012
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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About the Author
Shaun Allan is a prolific writer of many prize winning short stories and poems. With Sin, he has proven to also be a superb novelist. Many of Shaun's experiences and thoughts however bizarre are woven into Sin's meandering life, so much so "he" wouldn't keep quiet after the book was written. Shaun has worked as a laboratory technician, a teacher, and in the oil industry. He lives in the UK with his partner, their wonderfully insane daughter, a baby girl, three cats and a myriad of fish. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Sin is a dark, urban fantasy, written with large dose of sardonic humor. We hear the tale from the man who was given the name 'Sin Mathews' at birth, but who goes by the name of Sin only, as the last name doesn't matter; only the name which is the sum of his parts matters.
Sin finds a coin, a two pence coin, or perhaps the coin finds him. Either way, this is the catalyst for Sin's curse. He finds himself flipping the coin compulsively -flip, catch - and it arcs through the air he sees images of disaster and death, which is then reported on the news. Eventually he realizes every time he flips the coin, someone dies; sometimes a lot of people die in what he believes are 'unnatural disasters' timed perfectly to the flip of the coin. Though he tries to avoid flipping the coin, he finds himself doing it anyway.
No matter how he tries, he can't throw it away, or lose it. The coin always comes back to him when he buys something and gets his change; or even just appearing in his pocket...
Sin receives a letter from his sister Joy, telling him she had found a coin, and when she flipped it she "made lives". She wrote that the responsibility for making the world happy was too much for her. She was alone in world of happiness she couldn't be a part of, and she killed herself. Sin apparently had found his coin right after her death. He decides to check himself into an insane asylum in order to get the sort of psychotropic drugs which will render him incapable of seeing the visions, and flipping the coin.
Sin's conversations with Dr. Connors in the opening chapter are adversarial, and illuminating. For the most part, he enjoys his stay in the asylum, but, being sane, he sees the sordid truth in the callous treatment and chronic over-medication of the patients.
Although posing as a mentally ill patient works for a while, the medications soon cease to be effective and he decides that since the coin always comes back to him as if by magic, maybe he has the power to teleport. He resolves to commit suicide by teleporting himself into the heart of a furnace, hoping for instant incineration. Unfortunately, he finds himself on a beach, instead of in Hell where he had hoped to be.
Sin has an encounter with Joy who tells him death is not what it is cracked up to be. She warns him "a storm is coming". He continues his inadvertent journey, trying to get his bearings. After a chance meeting which reveals more of his powers, he finds himself in Grimsby, the home of his childhood.
The atmosphere throughout is surrealistic, but it is well-balanced Allen's lyrical, intimate style of prose, as in this series of images describing Sin's disorientation, "History doesn't relate whether Jonah, Gepetto, and Pinocchio sat around a table eating pizza, sharing stories of prophecy and puppetry while in the belly of the whale, but I thought that I could relate to being swallowed whole." Throughout the novel, Sin's ruminations are self-mocking, and world-weary, yet naive and innocent. He bears the guilt of the world, and suffers the unbearable pain of being the cause of so many deaths, but still he finds ironic humor in every situation. Joy is grounded and guides him to the truth, but is not allowed to tell him anything.
Nothing is what it seems in this tale, and right up to the end, you are not sure which reality is real.
The facts come out, or do they? This book is a rollercoaster ride from the start to the finish, and I give it 5 stars for originality and style.
The book is interesting from the very beginning, and you want to keep reading to find out more about not only the character Sin, but what he is going to do next. I mean I read the synopsis of the book I was pretty sure the main character was not the best guy in the world, I mean it sounds like he is a killer. But really he is a guy who would be a normal guy if not for this fact that bad things happen when he's around. But he isn't the one doing the bad things, so you really feel bad for this guy.
I think it's a really interesting plot, and of course you get to experience how Sin deals with the problem once he recognizes it. It's obviously a terrible situation, and so Sin obviously wants to do something to make sure that he stops being the reason for other people dying. So he does the only thing that he thinks will help, he ends up in mental hospital which doesn't work, so he starts to wonder if the only solution to the problem would be for him not to exist anymore.
The book is really interesting and thought provoking. I also believe that it is really well written. The dialogue was good, the inner monologue was good, there was humor interjected throughout the book. But the overall book made you think. You wondered about what would happen if you were in his shoes. Or what would happen if you knew someone like him. You felt for him. You wanted this to stop, you wanted him to just be a normal everyday guy.
Overall, I think the book is pretty good. It is one of those books that kind of falls in the urban fantasy realm because it deals with things that don't happen naturally in the real world, but at the same time is not completely a fantasy book per say. It's thought provoking, well written, and has some really good overall elements to the book. I would recommend it to pretty much anyone who likes books, it's one of those books that kind of fits into a multitude of categories and therefore has a wider audience. I will say the book is on the darker side, so if you are looking for something light and fluffy then this is not the book for you.
Sin Matthews has gone missing from the mental asylum and Dr Connors is not happy. He hasn't got his lab rat to experiment on anymore. Somehow Sin has managed to teleport himself out of the hospital with the aim of committing suicide. But he wakes up on a beach instead.
You see, it all started when Sin picked up a two pence coin thinking it would bring him good luck. The only thing is it didn't, quite the opposite in fact. The first time he flipped and caught the coin something awful took place and people died. Flip, Catch; every time Sin did this more tragedies occurred. There was only one thing for it, he would have to dispose of the coin. Yes, that was the answer. The problem? The coin kept coming back.
Sin began doubting himself and ended up admitting himself into a mental asylum. In order to forget things, he would sometimes become violent so that he was drugged up to his eyeballs. But is Sin actually insane? That's for you to work out!
This story has been told from Sin's viewpoint and it's certainly different to any other book I've ever read. I really like Shaun's writing style, the wonderful wittiness and word play throughout shows Sin as having a good sense of humour.
'Sin' is an intriguing read which keeps you guessing to the end. It's a dark and quite often disturbing read, but that's what makes it so great.
Whatever you do, don't pick up any two pence coins off the pavement!
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