Tuesday, 9 July 2013
Book: Curve Day by L R Currell
Each year there is one day when people can kill other citizens without any repercussions. This was implemented in the USA in order to curb over population and in an attempt to lower crime rates, and this day is known as Curve Day. Curve Day picks up in the run up towards the 11th Curve Day and follows a range of characters (including army personnel, hired soldiers, a police officer, a homeless man, a young kid and the director of a video website) up until midnight of the day itself (so the end of it).
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This book wasn't like what I'm used to reading in this genre. Unlike most of what I have read, there was less focus on the characters and more focus on the events, and what the characters were doing. There was also very little focus on a rebellion, though it was implied closer to the end that rebellion in at least some form was in existence and attempting to do something, despite rebellions being a large part of the speculative fiction genre.
At the point at which the book starts, Curve Day has been in place for 10 years, with surprisingly little resistance (from what we've been told). What I found really shocking was how normal characters in the book were acting in the run up to Curve Day, and in fact, how calm they were when they were having conversations about Curve Day, killing or risking being killed just seemed like a commonplace thing in this society. Though the really shocking thing about this is that it is probably accurate as to how the human race would react to this kind of situation, something which is shown by modern desensitisation towards suffering in the world.
There were times when I struggled slightly with the lack of characterisation, there was very little development for any of the characters, and there quite easily could have been. It also seemed that the narrative chopped and changed a lot, which made it difficult to follow at times, though I think that was just the author's style of writing, whether in general or just for this book I could not say. Saying that, there was no point at which I wanted to put the book down, the author certainly did a good job of building up the suspense!
Despite the lack of characterisation I have found that I still want to know more about the aftermath of the 11th Curve Day, and how the future Curve Day's will turn out, the book did have a slight feeling of finishing before the story was fully complete (as it ended at the end of Curve Day itself and no later) and I would have liked to have found out how the events of the book affected the various characters.
The way that I would sum up this book would probably be that it is a similar concept to that of the Hunger Games, but more gruesome and more developed (in story). I'd recommend it so long as you don't want to focus on the characterisation too much.