A few weeks ago I attended a literary conference and had the opportunity to spend time with my friend and fellow author Dave Butler. As the conference came to a close, He took a book from the many stacks of his books he was selling (illustrated by another friend, Nathan Shumate...) and grabbed a pen. He opened it, he signed it, and he gave it to me. I tried to pay for the book--he declined payment. I tried selling him a book which contained my short story. He took it, but he insisted on buying it.
Dave's a good friend, and classy like that.
I began reading the book he gave me, Crecheling, but I stopped after the first chapter--not because it wasn't good--it was, but because I have not set aside time to read into my daily schedule.
Until now, that is.
This week I grabbed the book and read it while going back and forth to work on the train. Tonight I finished it. Here's what I thought.
In the Crecheling world in order for youths to come of age, they must complete a ritual which involved the murder of system members. This information is only made known to Dyan, the story's main character, and her friends the evening before the ritual is to take place.
But, as it sometimes happens in dystopian stories, things don't go as planned and Dyan finds herself captured by those who should have died. We now find ourselves following Dyan as she must choose between the life she's always known and the uncertainty of a future on the run.
I especially liked the way Butler set up his world. As the story progressed, I learned more about the situation. Some dystopian stories feel a need to front-load a story with explanation. I learned of the fictional reality as I read and it surprised me, pleasantly surprised me. It also allowed my imagination to wonder as to where the story could lead. I like that in a book, too.
Butler writes a story that's light on profanity, but not so light on gore. However, the gore helps express the seriousness of the situation and the harsh realities of the cruel world in which they live. In short, I liked it a lot. And I hope to be reading more of this author's books in the future.