Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Review Wednesday – Erin Grace's The Indefatigable Wright Brothers

"I’m still too afraid to sleep with a psychopath in the room."

Jeremiah Meza, a ball shagger at the local driving range, has just been dumped by his girlfriend.  He normally wouldn't care but she left him with the one insult he can't get over; she called him a psychopath. After doing some research and worrying a lot, Jeremiah soon becomes convinced he is indeed in a psychopath.  This realization scares him until he meet Bonnie (Just Bonnie), who persuades  him he needs to take things to the next level. Now that he knows what he is, he should strive to become the best of them all.  What follows is a crazy adventure, only made possible by the (un)predicted fall of a meteorite.

The indefatigable Wright Brothers, Erin Graces' first book, starts with a bang,  We meet Jeremiah who is trying to handle his (ex)girlfried as she is breaking up with him.  Although he is presented as a somewhat insensitive boyfriend,  I immediately sided with him. Regardless of the trouble he was in, I grew fonder of him with every page.  I didn't like Bonnie as much.  In fact, I liked some of the other members of the brethren more than I did her.  I wish she hadn't taken the backseat of the story and had had a bigger presence in the latter part of the story. Nonetheless, I feel Grace has a great understanding of human emotions and  knows how to make them lovable and realistic without the need of extensive description.  The same goes for her settings.  I could easily picture the different places where the characters interacted.

The premise of the story is amazing, the idea being original and unusual ( to be quite honest, I had been expecting a story about the real Wright brothers.) I enjoyed it very much.  I felt however that I had been cheated of part of the story when, after the fall of the meteorite and the creation of the Brotherhood, the pace suddenly picked up to take the allure of a rocky-esque montage.  Although key information was provided, I would have liked to see the evolution of the group at a slower pace.  The book being fairly short, a chapter or two more wouldn't have hurt. Plus, it would have contributed to strengthen the relationships between the characters. This change of pace led also me to me utterly confused when we flashed forward and all the characters suddenly had codenames.  I caught on later, but some I still wasn't sure about, even as I reached the end of the book.  Speaking of which, the open ending couldn't have been more appropriate.  The reader can't help but wonder what will be Jeremiah's next move.

Grace's style is rich but simple. The language is accessible yet filled with little jems such as the opening quote of this review and as "We’re both a little dubious about our abilities to handle machinery larger than mechanical pencils." The book reads easily, which is great because you don't want to be hindered: the author keeps you wanting to know what is going to happen next.  The usage of first person narrative  was perfect for this story; a third person narrative would have dulled it greatly.

All in all, The Indefatigable Wright Brothers does a good job of showing the potential and talent of  author Erin Grace.  It is a novel bound to please anyone with a good sense of humour and a taste for the incredible.


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