By Kerry Alan Denney
I think this book definitely has an intriguing concept but I don’t think it was put together the best way it could have been. Honestly, the book reads more like a rough draft than a final copy. And I don’t necessarily mean that as an insult to editing or grammar.
Just what is this book about?
Marionettes is a story about an ordinary man receiving extraordinary powers. David somewhat teeters the line of being a ‘zombie’ and being someone who experienced a medical miracle. After passing away, David is resurrected and now has the power to jump into other people’s heads or ‘consciousness’. In a way, he takes on their life and sees things from their perspective. What I thought was most interesting about the book was that David started off with the desire to use his powers for good but soon changes his mind and begins a path of revenge. I expected his character—for the sake of development—to experience the opposite. I thought he would desire to do bad at first but then learn to do good. Either way was fine with me and made for an interesting read.
I think David was an easy-going character who offered detailed descriptions of his environment and situation. For someone who was brought back to life, he had a rather laid-back reaction to everything he experienced but, for his character, it was believable and somewhat realistic. The beginning of the story was probably Denney’s most powerful. The book opened by letting everyone know that David had died and been brought back to life. There wasn’t much build-up which allowed readers to jump right into the drama.
What made me feel a bit conflicted about the story was the writing. Some parts were beautifully detailed, especially the character descriptions and what happened to David as he hopped from body to body. But other parts felt repetitive and confusing. There was a plus and a minus to diving straight into the story and I think what took away from it for me was that jumping right in didn’t leave much room for explaining what exactly was going on. I felt like I was figuring things out right alongside David whereas I normally like to have somewhat of an idea beyond the character’s awareness. That may be a matter of narration, however, since the book is narrated in first person rather than third.
My last issue with the story was with David bouncing between minds. He jumped into the minds and bodies of people who were different races and genders from himself. That definitely made for great reading but sometimes it seemed like the characters fell into stiff racial stereotypes—like how the ‘big’ black woman had enormous breasts and went around singing gospel hymns about Jesus. I don’t know if this was meant to be a reflection of how David saw the world or how Denney sees the world. Nevertheless, it left a rather sour taste in my mouth.
If you’re looking for a little violence and backstabbing drama, then this paranormal read is for you. I would definitely recommend it to science fiction fans and adult readers.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*