Sunday, October 30, 2011

For Review: The Radleys ~ Matt Haig

Hmm... I don't do vampires. I've read Dracula, and I'm a girly fan of S.Roit's Paris Immortal series. And that's it. Vampires are cool and all, but they have a habit of being written about rather badly. So, I can't claim to know everything about vampires in books, but I can tell you when something is a decent read or not.

In this case, sadly not. I'd heard positive things, that The Radleys was a different from others of its genre. What I would like to know is, how? Like I said, I don't read a lot of vampire stuff, but it's part of our everyday culture now where people reference garlic, sunlight issues, etc, etc. The Radleys did that too. I think the idea was to throw vampire fiction and tradition into a humdrum little town, an invasion of a 'normal' family. But it was just too ordinary. I couldn't care that Rowan was bullied, I had absolutely zero interest in Clara's involvement with boys, and their parents 'conflicts' of emotions and instincts hardly tore me up. And that, really, is all that I can say. Family of vampires, the kids find out (though how, in a book with sprinklings of pop culture references, they didn't figure that out for themselves), they have to cover it up because they're 'different' - usual vampire stuff. Just in a quaint, modern setting. But the environment did nothing to change the fact that is was all just a bit...samey.

The writing itself did nothing to excite me either. I need to be challenged and thrilled; neither happened. Instead, at points it seemed clumsy - did he know that he said the same thing twice in the space of a couple of paragraphs, like the character noticed the same thing for the first time more than once? And italics used for thoughts and other things and dialogue and dancing around too many heads of too many characters that didn't seem to matter. Hmm.

If the trials and temptations of seventeen year old vampires are your thing, then go for it. Otherwise, The Radleys isn't an experience that you might gain anything from. Or maybe I'm just too old for this stuff.