Saturday, 19 April 2014

Review: Nil

Nil by Lynne Matson

Title: Nil
Series: none
Author: Lynne Matson
Published: Henry Holt and Company; 2014
384 pages, kindle edition
Source: Gifted to me (from Sarah)
 Description (from Goodreads):

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.

My Thoughts:

3 stars

Nil was a bumpy ride for me. It had plenty of ups and downs, boring flat parts and a few sudden twists and turns. One minute I would be thinking that things were looking up and then it we would hit a boring part or Charley would do something stupid or another character would die. In the end, I was rather confused by my feelings towards it. I liked it, but didn't; I hated it, but didn't. It was all rather confusing...

To start the characters were too underdeveloped. I couldn't relate to any of them because we barely knew them at all - they even admit that they don't know each other's last names after being stuck with them on a deserted island for close on a year. If the other characters don't know one another well, how are we readers supposed to be able to connect to them? During the whole book everyone is kept at this distant from the readers and they all seemed rather shallow because of it.

I also had a probably with the amount of new characters introduced and the numerous killing off of the older characters. I can appreciate death in a novel when it provides that dash of reality to a serious situation, I mean they are surviving on a deserted island so yes, people are going to die. I do understand that, but the way in which
Lynne Matson approaches these killings is with a distant and emotionless touch. When you kill off a character I want to be effected by it, I want to be saddened and distraught and that requires a special touch. Not a John Green touch, who purposely tries to manipulate your emotions, but a delicate touch that was obviously lacking in Nil.

The main plotline was also a little too dull for me. There were long parts that had me bored to tears and in the end it reminded me heavily of The Maze Runner. It annoyed me that the one character who was able to figure out the maze the gates was the newbie. Why is it that they can spot something the last what hundred or more people cannot figure out? It doesn't seem very realistic that the other characters didn't even attempt to try and figure out the pattern of gates before Charley arrived. Surely that is the first thing they would think to do?

Also, in the end did we even learn what Nil was? What created it? Was Rives theory about the solar flare correct? Why do animals come sometimes and other times people? How do the gates work "back home"? Why do they "roll" at certain places at certain times"? Why only one person/animal at a time? Is Nil on another dimension to Earth? Is it part of Earth?.... so many questions were left unanswered. I could barely follow Charley's theory but even so, I need more. For that reason alone, I am hoping for a sequel.

In the end, this wasn't the best book I have ever read and I doubt I will hastily be recommending it. However, there were parts I did enjoy and the overall premise was intriguing. With a little more time and planning, I feel like this could have been a lot better.

Oh about the instalove, instalust, insta-angst or whatever the hell you want to call it, I don't have really anything to say other than: I hate instalove with every ounce of my being. Its stupid, useless, pointless and infuriating. Please authors start paying attention and stop using it in your novels!

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