“Fiction, is the truth inside the lie” – Stephen King
Author Julia Leigh Barkey’s first book ‘Waybrooke’ of the Carrie series deals with, as the title suggests, Carrie, who is a young girl with special powers. Her aunt Crystal takes Carrie along with her to help with the research she’s doing in a special medical institute called Waybrooke. There she meets other youngsters like her who all have some kind of special powers. Carrie’s job is to facilitate the transfer of everyone’s powers into a machine. But when an evil organisation, which goes by the name E.Y.E, enters the scene and threaten to destroy everything and everyone in their path, she and the surviving group of youngsters must form alliances and try to survive this brutal onslaught.
Julia Barkey has come up with a ambitious novel that showcases at the surface level very obvious emotions of love and friendship within the context of science fiction but dig down a bit deeper and you will find an intent to discuss the prejudice that society at large has towards people who are different from them. The ‘message’ isn’t screamed out of every page but look closely and you can find nuances of it everywhere. It is also a very creative venture, the ideas expressed and the thought behind it deserves full marks for ingenuity. And even though the ‘love’ story in the novel has hints of a love triangle to it, you won’t feel any disconnect from the core narrative. The characters, be that of Carrie, Scott or Matt are all well developed and have been given their own space to express their unique personalities. And even without adding on a cliff-hanger, the author has set the stage for further books in this series to come out.
The book clips by at a fast pace and even with the many twists and turns, the mystery, suspense, action, romance and friendships in the story will keep you engaged throughout. Since this is the first book in a series, a lot of emphasis has been laid down in establishing the perimeters of the relationships between the lead characters. The story line chugs along quite well and in the meantime, we get to see and understand Carrie better. The way she manages to stay true to herself in spite of constant changes happening around her, while also letting her guard down so that she can connect better with those around her. Her character development as she discovers her strange gifts and that too in midst all the action and excitement has been nicely done. Too much of dialogues do take away a bit from how the story unfolds but still the pacing of the narrative does a good enough job of covering up any inconsistencies.
In the end, Waybrooke is a nice and fast read. The pace never lets down and keeps you going page after page. Written in a very simple manner, it still has a distinct and captivating style that it can call its own. This is a novel that has a bit of modern, primitive and futuristic elements put together in it. Many secrets are revealed by the end of the book and Carrie has to accept the tough reality that sets around her. She also realizes the cost her choices will have in the future. Carrie discovering new abilities and forming new alliances that become special to her nicely pave the way for the second book in the series Misperception to come out.
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (August 16, 2013)