Alright, so this isn't really a "Halloween" book, but it's thematic, so I read it specifically so I could review it on Halloween. So there.
First, I'd like to say that this book is very well written.
Second, I'd like to say that this book is more or less misery porn for the philosophers.
Nothing turns out well, no one cares, people are jerks, and justice is a sham. While the story was well-constructed and the world was vivid, the plot was ideologically depressing, exploring the concept of evil and where it comes from. The conclusion is basically that evil comes from ordinary people, the world sucks, and there's nothing you can do to change it, because there are always more apathetically ordinary people around to screw it up.
I don't think this is a bad book. In fact, I think the worldbuilding, character development, and pacing were all done very well. The dialogue was unimpressive in places, and the scene transitions were jarring at times, but it was otherwise a well-constructed story. Unfortunately, the worldview from which this story is told is not one I agree with or would want to encourage in readers of any age.
Despite the skill with which this story and its characters were rendered, I'm going to give it a rating of 2 out of 5. I did not enjoy reading this story as a whole, and would not recommend it. I prefer by far and away the rendition presented in the musical of the same name, which is much more positive and emphasizes themes of racism and friendship rather than the depressing exploration of "what is evil" and the depths of human depravity.
Have you seen the play, or read the book? What were your thoughts?
Until next time, enjoy your pumpkin-spiced world, Inklings!
Also, don't forget to check for the newest episode of our podcast: Catawampus Readings!