The Blurb

Samantha and her neighbor, Jake, have no idea that Samantha’s best friend, a parrot named Charlie, is a thousand years old. Charlie is also at the center of a secret battle between magical creatures and an ancient, evil man. When Charlie asks Samantha and Jake to protect him, they are chased by monsters from both sides. To save Charlie, and two worlds, Samantha and Jake have twenty-four hours to figure out how to use the supernatural staff, WhipEye, and find the courage to confront what they fear most…

My Review

This, in my view, is probably the most disappointing book I’ve read this year.  I was really excited by the blurb, which  is as well written as the book itself.  It is extremely well written, full of colour, vivid description, a tortuous plot, and plenty of tension.

We meet Sam, who is grieving for her mother, as is her father, and their relationship has basically broken down as they simply cannot talk to each other about their grief.  Her father rehabilitates animals, and Sam has inherited the interest to the extent she doesn’t really have any friends, and she’s blocked out the ones she had by her grieving.  She meets Jake, whose dad has left him and his Mom, and together they make a pretty good sort of team, full of misjudgements and unfulfilled trust and mistaken choices along the way.  And as the blurb indicates, Charlie asks Sam to protect him and they get chased by monsters.

It’s such a fast pace that I was enthralled for the first 20% of the book, anxious for Sam in her fragile state of mind (and body, since she often needs to use her asthma inhaler) and the horrific danger from the amazing monsters conjured up by the author.  It’s so fast paced I was exhausted.  By 40% I was exhausted from the relentless chasing.  It just didn’t pause for any breath, except when Sam looked over her shoulder AGAIN to see where the monster was and to reach for the inhaler.  Again. Did I say relentless?   I lost sympathy for Sam and Jake (but not Charlie, oddly).  And on all sides you are bombarded with lists of animals and birds in the country in which they find themselves.  Yes, there are clever reasons for that, but, I found it too much.

Eventually, you get a breather.  Not just a paragraph but a whole chapter.  They aren’t very long chapters.  Then the creepy stuff begins, escalating into a Frankensteinian piece of horror worthy of Lovecraft or Frank Herbert.

The book is suggested as a read for 8 – 18 year olds.  WARNING:  I have added the category ‘Horror’ to my Goodreads shelf to categorise this book.  I know lots of kids like horror.  I don’t.  I wish I’d stopped reading when I was finding the chase tedious.  Now I’m going to have nightmares about it.

It’s extremely well written, but it’s unsuitable for many kids, and definitely not those as young as 8.  I’d put a PG-13 rating on it, but maybe as these things weren’t being done to children in a real world, Disney will make a film of it.  Maybe some things strike certain nerves more than others, but this twanged mine… and the blurb sounded so good.  It also made me consider, yet again, the tolerance of what I consider strong violence in US entertainment.  Maybe it’s cultural.

WhipEye, by Geoffrey Saign.

I received a free ecopy of this book as part of a MDBR Book Review blast.

Book Review | WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign
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14 thoughts on “Book Review | WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign

  • 13 December, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Won’t be adding this to my TBR pile, let alone my wish list. I certainly don’t need the nightmares. Thanks for your honest, thoughtful review.

    • 13 December, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      I may be over-sensitive to certain things. But from what S&K say below, I’m not the only one!

  • 13 December, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Yeah, I’m with you. That warning should be there. Neighbor Girl is like you. Thanks for the warning and thorough review. We would more than likely have nightmares, too.

    • 13 December, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks, Christine!

  • 13 December, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks for a good honest review, Jemima. As I started reading your review, I immediately thought this might not be a good book for anyone other than YA or older.

    • 13 December, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks, Noelle!

  • 14 December, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Also glad for the warning. You won’t be surprised to find I’m like you regarding horror! And I had been thinking of reading it, based on the blurb. I’ll give it a pass.

    • 14 December, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Well, I saw Renee’s review, and she didnt seem to have any problems with it. You are talking to someone who did a double take on the film rating when the Pirates of the Caribbean first showed themselves as skeletons, after all!

      • 14 December, 2014 at 9:20 pm

        Felicia only recently has been able to watch Pirates of the Caribbean for the same reason! She now loves it but we skipped the creepy skeleton parts the first couple of times she watched it. Then she felt she knew the characters enough that they weren’t as creepy. But she is more sensitive than many of her friends.

        • 14 December, 2014 at 9:41 pm

          Do remind Felicia that it’s a sign of a vivid imagination!

          Sorry to be replying as ‘admin’ today but I’ve spent most of the day trying to solve problems with the blog, and may have only made it worse :O

          • 14 December, 2014 at 9:42 pm

            :o) Nice glass of wine you are holding as admin – it makes us smile.

          • 14 December, 2014 at 9:52 pm

            I could do with one at the moment. I installed a plug-in to help my wordpress security, since I know I have zombies in the works and it’s giving performance issues (like file not found after commenting). I can’t get the plug-in to scan properly.

          • 14 December, 2014 at 11:46 pm

            Well, if it makes you feel any better, we didn’t receive any errors today when commenting. {{Hugs}}

  • Pingback:Book Review Blitz Wrap-Up ~ WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign | Mother Daughter Book Reviews

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