Posted by panaura on 9th February 2010
If you’re anything like me, then the first chapter of a book can make or break your reading experience. Either it captures you right away with clear, fast-paced action and quirky characters, or it confuses you to the point where you can’t even form a clear picture in your mind. Both books that I read this week, while entirely different genres, have that second type of opening.
The Lab by Jack Heath jumps right into the action. Usually that’s a good way to keep my attention, but in this case I was confused. He refers to his character as “he” for a long time before finally giving him a name. This so called “he” is agent Six of Hearts, a 16 year old superhuman who belongs to a team of agents known as the Deck. On the surface, Six of Hearts is not a nice guy. He’s rude and dismissive to his peers. But underneath, he doesn’t have the heart to kill another. Six is hiding a deep, dark secret. He’s the product of an experiment conducted by The Lab. And now The Lab is out to get him back.
If the beginning wasn’t such a challenge, I’d give this book a better review. It’s great for teenage boys who’d rather read action scenes than build strong ties to the character.
Lyonesse: The Well Between the Worlds targets a completely different reader. It’s for young adults, both male and female, who enjoy reading fantasy and adventure stories. Like The Lab, Lyonesse starts off slow, but it picks up faster than that other book. It begins with the kids playing see-saw, which immediately makes you think that the characters are younger than they are. It follows Idris as he trains to become a monstergroom–someone who can capture and cage the monsters that live beneath the wells.
This story is not written in a modern, conversation-like style. It’s sounds more dated to show how long ago the story takes place. Because of this, as well as it’s very unique storyline, it can be challenging to visualize sometimes.