Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Book of Speculation (Book review)

The first thing you should know about this book is that it is written by Erika Swyler, and it is amazing. It's Swyler's first novel. I received this novel from a Goodreads giveaway and it is not out in stores until June 23rd, 2015.

This book is about a guy, Simon. One day he receives a very old half ruined book from an older fellow by the name of Mr. Martin Churchwarry who bought the book for the sole reason of speculation, he tracks down one of the names in it to Simon and then sends it to him. Simon then realizes while reading the book that the people in the book are related to him, he also realizes that the females in his family always die on the same day, July, 24th. The weirdest thing about that is that they drown which should be impossible because the females in his family are circus mermaids who can breathe underwater without an oxygen tank for over 10 minutes.

Simon becomes obsessed with the book not only because of it's weird coincident but because he has a sister, Enola, who since their father passed away has left him and went and traveled with a circus reading tarot cards is coming back in town- and she's acting like her mother did before she "killed" herself. There's only six weeks until July 24th and Simon tries to figure out why all the generations of mermaids drown, before his sister becomes one of them.

The book also has "flashback" chapters in it that tell the tragic story of Amos and Evangeline- Simon and Enola's ancestors- as they travel with the circus, and fall in love. I won't tell you much about them because their story you should read for yourself without knowing much about them.

I absolutely love this book, Swyler's writing is very refreshing and enjoyable. Though when I realized that there was flashback chapters -split narratives from past + present- every other chapter my face was like...
BUT I loved them in this book, it worked in The Book of Speculation, the flashbacks made sense. I loved all the characters and it tied into the "present" story.

Speaking of characters I did love them all but since Simon is the protagonist, he should be the one I connected with the most but he was not it was kind of hard to connect with him, but by the end, I enjoyed him and I understood why he was so obsessed with the book, he had to save the only family he had left. Enola was different from any character from any book I've ever read, even know I didn't know how to describe her clearly. She's quick tempered, free spirited and even at a couple parts obnoxious. But she was still an enjoyable character. Her boyfriend, Doyle was very supportive of her and was probably my favorite character in the book. Doyle has an electrifying attitude and personality. Did I mention that he has a bunch of tentacle tattoos? Because he does, and it is great.

The book also has like 12 illustrations made by the author herself that tie into the book and the two connecting stories. I think everyone should go and get it from  the stores when it comes out and read it. I'm quite sure I'm going to get another copy so I can give it to my sister or one of friends to read so we can fangirl together.

One last thing by the end of the book you'll probably hate Horseshoe crabs, I know I do...

5/5 Story
5/5 Writing
4/5 Characters
5/5 Overall
Allison c:

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