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BOOK REVIEW: Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

| 28 February 2019 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

Orbit UK
November 2018
Paperback, $29.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Thriller / Horror

7/10

Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. She’s a gentle woman devoted to bringing up her kids in the right way, no matter how hard times get.
But there’s another side to Liz—one which is dark and malicious. A version of her who will do anything to get her way, no matter how extreme or violent.

That surge of alien emotion was terrifyingly intense, but in other ways normal service was being resumed. Liz’s arms dropped to the floor on either side of her as though whatever had just taken her over had flung them down when it was done. The prickling cold folded in on itself and receded back into some hidden gulf whose existence she had never suspected.

And when this other side of her takes control, the consequences are devastating.

Liz sat in silence for a long time. The sense of it was slowly sinking into her. That she had called out for a savior and now the savior was sitting inside her mind like a cuckoo in a nest. Screwing up everything.

The only way Liz can save herself and her family is if she can find out where this new alter-ego has come from, and how she can stop it.

In the last moment before she dozed off, she became aware of something else. There was an inflection to the silence inside her mind, as though something else was being silent along with her; holding itself absolutely still so it wouldn’t betray its presence there.
Her designated hitter. The thought came quickly, with absolute conviction. She just knew.

 

Once again, M.R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts, The Boy on the Bridge, and Fellside, brings us a cast of complex characters in an interesting speculative setting, and lots of seemingly unconnected things that we just know are going to come together to form one heck of a story.

In addition to Liz and her family – as mentioned in the blurb of the book – we also Liz’s intruder, and have Fran Watts, a teenager who has issues with gaps in her memory due to childhood trauma.

Yeah, there it was. The middle square of the coverlet, which had always been bright red, was gray. Her little statue of a Chinese guy playing a flute, an unlikely souvenir from a vacation trip to New York, had turned into a lady with a fan. The chess position set up on her chest of drawers had gone from an endgame to a starting lineup.

And Fran’s imaginary friend, a fox, who seems to have come from Fran’s favourite TV show as a child, and whose job it is to watch over Fran.

Who was Zac Kendall anyway? Had he sat by Fran’s bed every night, guarding her against her own past? Had he tracked down the scary memories nesting in her mind and eaten them whole before they could hurt her? Had he pledged his sword and his heart to her the way Jinx had?
No. He hadn’t. He probably didn’t even have a sword.

This novel is an exploration of what might be out there, just beyond the reach of our vision and imagination.

Skimming some of these non-Picota articles, she discovered that shadow people were in the top ten of reported hallucinations, even if the people who were doing the hallucinating didn’t have a mental illness. You could see shadows doing things they weren’t supposed to when you were very tired, or when you were going under the anesthetic before an operation.

But beyond that, it’s a tale of family and friendship, of being different, and of the human determination to get through the worst and most unthinkable situations.

If you enjoyed Fellside, you’ll probably like this one, too, but don’t go in expecting it to be on the same level as The Girl With All the Gifts or you’ll likely find yourself somewhat disappointed.

 

 

Category: Book Reviews

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