Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Stone Man by Luke Smitherd

The Stone Man by Luke Smitherd
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Create Space December 5, 2012 318 pages

The Stone man appears in Millennium Place in Coventry and by appear, I mean just that. It materialized out of nothing. Andy, a reporter was one of the first to see the Stone Man It stood at around eight feet tall (to my eyes at least; The Home Office can give you the exact measurements) and it made me think then, as it does now, of the 'Man' logo on a toilet door, if someone were to make one out of rough, dark, greyish-brown stone and then mutate it so the arms were too long, and the head were more of an oval than a circle. Quite a curious thing until it began to walk. There was no stopping it and it walked through anything that stood in its path. Including Andy's apartment building. It would not be the only thing Andy would lose.

This book was chosen for my book club. It created a lively discussion. My personal review was that I liked it so much, I bought it on the Kindle, the Audible version, AND I have a hard copy. Yes, I enjoyed the minute by minute play of Andy's journey. I was with him every step of the way, even the scary ones. The majority of my fellow readers felt it took too long to get to the point. I disagree. There are a lot of stalled moments in chaos, especially if you are questioning your own sanity.

I think Luke made his characters realistic and the plot was plausible as was the timing.
On the negative side: If you are reading on the Kindle, the story ends at 85%. Thinking I had another 15% to go, I found the ending abrupt. I found myself  back spacing to see if I had missed something. I was not alone in this frustration. The last 15% is a preview to another book and a long ass letter begging for reviews (granted, it's his first book) and a bunch of other stuff I didn't bother with as it was boring. It's like meeting someone for the first time and he/she will not shut-up. You can't get a word in edge-wise.

The redeeming factor is that the last page offers an alternative ending. After wading through the 15% waste, I was now ready for the end. Technically both endings work as long as you're prepared for the first one.

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