Review: Idlewild by Nick Sagan

Alexis: Read 4/7/19

A teenager wakes up in the middle of a pumpkin patch with amnesia. He doesn’t know who he is, where he is, or what’s going on. He only knows that he was shocked so badly that he couldn’t move, causing his amnesia, and that he knows someone named Lazarus is dead, and someone just tried to kill him, as well.

Idlewind is like a mix between The Matrix and The Maze Runner. I don’t usually go for sc-fi, but I found myself enjoying the change of pace. I truly loved the beginning of the book. I found it really original and creative, and I enjoyed Sagan’s worldbuilding. I loved learning about Halloween’s character alongside him as his memory slowly started to resurface. I liked Sagan’s conversational writing style and I found Halloween’s gothic character interesting.

I also enjoyed the structure of the book. The majority of the book is in first person from Halloween’s POV, while excerpts in the beginning of each chapter focus on characters from the past. Sections called “Pace Transmission”s intersect the chapters. At first, these make no sense, but I found them helpful as the book progresses.

It’s hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. I feel like it’s best to go into it without knowing much. My overall consensus of the book is that I loved the first ¾ of it, including the plot twists and reveals, but thought the ending fell flat. I also wasn’t a fan of how the characters progressed, and I also didn’t like the characterizations of the female characters. In that regard, Idlewild feels very early 2000’s.

However, if you’re in the mood for a creative, apocalyptic sci-fi read with a large dash of virtual reality, I definitely recommend it. Most of the book was 4 stars for me, but the ending knocked it down ½ a star.

VERDICT: 3 ½ stars

 

SPOILERS BELOW:

 

My biggest issue with the ending was the reveal of Mercutio as Lazarus’ killer. I felt like there wasn’t any buildup or real evidence or motivations for this to make sense. I also didn’t feel like I knew the secondary characters well enough, especially since Halloween himself was still figuring everyone else out. Because of this, Simone and Mercutio’s deaths didn’t affect me, and I’m not really sure I want to continue reading the series. Halloween’s reaction to the ending felt a bit melodramatic, even for his already melodramatic character.

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