Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Review - The Shepherd by TW Luedke

Mike Evans here. Sixteen year old skate punk squatting in a white-trash trailer park with my loser drunk Dad. Seems I lost most of my friends when Dad lost our home in foreclosure. Only Anita stuck by me. Worse, I keep having strange clairvoyant visions of things that always come true.Then I almost ran over Nadia in my Geo. A passing truck finished the job – left a crumpled heap of skin and bone on the road. I fixed her. Me.
Now this fourteen year old girl won’t leave me alone. I sorta let her sneak in my window when she needs a place to crash.
I have a double life: daytime at school, Anita, skating, and then my nights with Nadia. She's my secret friend, gives me money and listens to my problems when nobody else will.
My world is spinning out of control. Old friends have turned enemy, my grisly visions of death won’t quit, and Anita’s intentions make my head spin. Even with all that, I’ve got bigger stuff to worry about.
Nadia’s hiding something. - Publication Date - Oct 2 2013

*Summary from Goodreads. Thank-You to the author T.W. Luedke for sending me an ARC of this in exchange for a 100% honest review.

The beginning was quite a nice way to open the books as it was so real. I could literally go on the internet and find something similar to what was described It also have quite a pessimistic feel to it, you really got into the characters mind set, which was a feeling that I rather enjoyed. I was intrigued with the story direction and it already have me wanting to read and discover more.

'Hoodie Girl', who we later learn is called Natasha/Nadia, had one of my favorite character introductions. The relationship between her and Michael was an interesting element in the novel and didn't go quite the way I expected it, but absolutely loved the teasing and protectiveness that came with it. The fact that we don't learn her name till quite later in the story was something I thought was a clever writing element implemented by the author since we were getting familiar with the character and this still left her with a sense of mystery. There was a lot we didn't know about her, and neither did the protagonist.

The introductions of Michael's visions felt like a milestone in the novel, for me, like it was the part when you're starting to get 'down and dirty' as it was moving into a more fictional realm. What I liked about the presentation of his visions in the book was that it didn't seem to rely on the visions as a whole but I felt like it would come into play more so later on than what had already been shown.

Now I was only about 12% into the book at this point but I want to talk about it, anyway, at the end of Chapter 4 there were two lines that read; 'Friends make the worse enemies. They have all the personal, inside knowledge to hurt you with.' This is mentioned again in the book, and I didn't know how things were going to turn out, obviously, but I had a feeling that the argument/grudge between Justin and Michael, though quite a trivial thing, would be become an important element of the novel.

So, I hope I haven't shown much preference between male and female characters in my reviews before, but I have to say that I think I give female characters a slightly harder time, from a critical eye, than male. Not because women are beneath men or anything, but I have so many female idols/hero's from books that its a natural thing, and someone who quickly became a favorite character of mine was Anita. With her self-consciousness, which I think a lot of us can relate to, to her tomboy personality and her burning tongue, she was a keeper.

The format of the book, being in first person a.k.a from Michael's point of view, was refreshing as I've been reading a lot of books in third person. And its used quite effectively to show us more of Michael's personality by narrating it from his point of view. With witty humor, dark secrets, clairvoyance, the paranormal, and even reincarnation, this book has it all.

There were a few drawbacks; quite often I had the feeling that elements were introduced to the book but never really amounted to anything like something had started and had never been finished, but once you got really into the book there were some interesting turns. Even with the paranormal this book... was comfortable not too much action or fiction to drive it over the edge but enough to have you hanging on for the next page. Overall I enjoyed the book, it wrapped up with a nice happy ending, but there's still a lot of questions to be answered. Eagerly waiting for a sequel!

Rating = 3 Bookish Birds 



3 comments:

  1. Hi Fionnuala! Brilliant review. Although, as before, I can't see the rating images :( Do you know how to fix the problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Erika! I think I know the problem, hold on a minute! ;D x

      Delete
  2. Hey Fi! Great review as always, this book sounds intriguing! This book does sound quite up my street :)

    Charli x

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