Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Question of the Week: Has a book ever deceived you?

Admit it:  there's nothing quite like the feel of a brand-spanking-new library book, complete with fresh plastic cover.  I satisfy my urge to be the first customer to read a library book by scanning the publishing magazines.  When I find something that sounds good, I see if Sno-Isle owns it, and Bob's your uncle.

Every now and then, the cover doesn't match what I expected.  When I got my copy of Vicious by V.E. Schwab, I couldn't for the life of me recall why I had requested it. 

The cover depicts a man in a trench coat standing on a balcony that overlooks a high-tech cityscape.  The man's skin is deathly pale and his veins are clearly visible.  Blood drips from his hand. This cover hints of near future and horror. Hey, wait!  It looks like Science Fiction or Fantasy!  I read Mysteries.  The book's summary must have been incorrect.  This isn't my cup of tea - or is it?

The book stayed on my nightstand for several days, until it was time to choose my next read.  I decided I'd give this a try.  Am I ever glad I did!  From page one, I was entranced and turning pages long into the night. 

 Two college roommates have an interest in physiology.  Victor decides to do his thesis on adrenaline; Eli's will focus on EOs (ExtraOrdinaries,or "super" people).  Now, Victor is a little jealous of Eli's thesis topic; it doesn't help that he's also dating the woman of Victor's dreams.  But now that Eli has chosen the better thesis topic, Victor has got to get in on the glory that's sure to follow his success.  The pair hypothesize that an EO can be manufactured by providing them with an NDE, a Near Death Experience.  Victor volunteers to go first, but things go wrong.  He comes back, but he isn't in any way better.  When it's Eli's turn, they know a bit more and can plan better.  Eli's attempt is successful:  he is an EO.  Victor is in a jealous rage, and nothing will stop him from achieving his own EO status, with or without the help of his "friend."

Would you know "evil" if you saw it?  Are you sure?

Tell me about a book that deceived you.   Were you glad you'd read it?

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