|TITLE: The Jinx AUTHOR: D.F. Lamont|
PUB: lulu.com PUB DATE: 9/6/11
FORMAT: paperback, 123 pgs SOURCE: won
The Jinx is the story of Stephen Grayson, a 13-year old whose run of bad luck gets so bad he worries he is endangering his family. Fearing he is cursed, he flees home to protect his family, only to find that he is in the middle of a tug-of war between a cult obsessed with order and misshapen monsters known as “Chaons” who seem bent on hunting him down.
THREE WORDS: Original. Intriguing. Overwhelming
MY REVIEW: I won a paperback copy of D.F. Lamont’s THE JINX and decided, that since it was such a quick read, I had time to offer a brief review. THE JINX is a short (only 123 pages) read, but offers an overall creative and intriguing story. Though I found the book as a whole an enjoyable read, there are a few aspects that I had issues with.
MY BRIEF SUMMARY
Thirteen year old Stephen Grayson, thinks he's a jinx. And just maybe he is. After several "accidents", Stephen runs away from home with the intent of protecting his family. While on a long bus ride in the mountains, Stephen is attacked by strange and fearsome creatures. Two apparent saviors show up to rescue him- an odd man with even odder contraptions and very orderly people in both a helicopter and a nice, warm car. Stephen goes with the orderly people and soon finds himself caught in a bizarre war between two equally terrifying opponents.
THE JINX has a very original and intriguing premise. The sci-fi elements are fresh, smart, and captivating. I found the book quite gripping and the story is easy to get caught up in. Although it’s a short read, THE JINX packs in quite a bit of story and action. Fast paced and suspenseful, Lamont offers up plenty of fun twists, turns, and surprises that will hold the attention of even young readers.
The main character, Stephen, is a likable and relatable character. He’s smart, brave, and thoughtful, but he’s not overly unique or out there. Other than the fact that chaos seems to be attracted to him, Stephen is rather average. But this makes him easy to connect with and will allow younger readers to easily imagine themselves in his place. The other major character, Daedalus, is a fun, whimsical, and larger than life kind of character. He’s a bit odd and different, but in a completely endearing and charming way. Mr. Zixhu, the antagonist, makes for a shudder worthy bad guy.
The story itself is well written, and cleverly so, and full of innovative imagination. I found myself totally intrigued by the war between order and chaos, and I thought Lamont’s overall idea was a cool one. However, I did find myself lost amongst all the scientific, metaphysical, and philosophical explanations and I think this book’s intended audience might be too. There were some passages that simply went over my head and overwhelmed me with too much information, distracting me from the story itself. I think if the author were to tone down the heavy stuff and focus more on the fun sci-fi and fantasy aspects, then this book would be more appropriate for the 9-13 crowd. But, I was able to understand the basic ideas behind the war between order and chaos, and Stephen’s role in this war, which allowed me to appreciate Lamont’s overall idea.
There were a few obvious editorial mistakes (spelling, grammar, and missing words), that I found slightly distracting as well. The ending wraps up the story nicely, offering younger readers the closure and reassurance they often need from endings. Yet, I could see there being room for the story to continue and I would definitely read future installments.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS: THE JINX is a creative, original, and fun read. There are a few overwhelming and complicated aspects that may confuse and distract readers, especially younger ones, but the overall premise is a cool one that sci-fi and fantasy fans will find intriguing. Read it if you get the chance.
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