It seems the Earth has a new owner! Welcome to the new, wonderfully-oddball short novel by Justine Avery. First, I must admit, I’m a big fan of this writer. Her writing is off-the-wall, slightly absurd and always, ALWAYS spellbinding. It’s wordy, yes, all of her novels are, but every word is there to play with you, to trick you, and to pull you relentlessly in. This is an author who is not frightened of experimenting with her plots, her characters and her language. It’s refreshing. It’s enticing. And I love it.
Now to the plot. Is there a plot? Yes, sort of. It’s in there. But if you are looking for a plot-driven story, this is probably not for you. But what you will find is a host of splendidly-developed characters that will not only fascinate you but will also force you to think. There’s a lot of commentary hidden in here, on how the world works or, indeed, how it’s not working. But the author’s sly and has such competent writing skills, she can put over her message without the reader ever feeling overwhelmed.
But what I love the best is the comic elements. They spill from every tiny chapter and every eye-widening simile. This author is funny. But not ‘silly funny’ but ‘clever funny’. For example, when the ‘owner’ of the planet performs a waggle dance, and the author informs us, ‘The dance, however flawlessly executed, did not translate.’
I would happily recommend this story to anybody who enjoys satire and being surprised. Had a long day at work? Feet killing you? Then curl up in your bed with a Justine Avery story. It’ll make you smile.