Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Beatrice used to be part of close-knit group of friends but things changed after her boyfriend, Jim, died, apparently by suicide.  The group never discussed Jim's death and Bea left town after graduation.  On a night back at home, she meets up with her former friends and they all go to a party. But on the way home they are in a car accident that leaves them in limbo between life and death.  They're told that time is essentially frozen until they come to a unanimous decision - only one of them can live.  They will repeat the same Wake until the vote is unanimous, letting one of them live and the rest die.  After hundreds of Wakes, the group decides that the answer must have something to do with Jim's death and they begin trying to answer the questions they have about that.

Such an intriguing, dark premise. I went into the book with excitement from both the premise AND a recommendation from "Nerdette".  It's a shame it never captured me the way I expected.  The characters other than Bea all came across as snobs who just worked at covering up their actions and I felt no connection with any of them.  My interest was briefly reinvigorated when we learned more about how the Wakes are shaped and through that the group discovered a way to investigate other times, but then my state of mind reverted to just trying to get through the book.  It ended up being too murky for my taste without enough of a bang at the end to make up for it all.

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