Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Numbers by Rachel Ward - Book Review #59

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
by Rachel Ward

Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.

Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!

Numbers was one of those books that I neither could read, no could abandon. I was reading this book for probably over a month. I read a couple of chapters, put it down, pick up another book, finish it and then return to Numbers again, after that rinse and repeat.

I was expecting this book to be something different than it turned out to be. No, synopsis didn’t lie – the first third of the book was precisely what synopsis described. I just imagining “Jem’s world is about to explode!” completely different than it was.

First third of the book was so completely sad and not just romantic sad when you brush of the single glittering tear from your cheek, but soul ripping sad. It was that type of awful realism that doesn’t have any sparkle of hope in it. Jem’s life was a true nightmare and not only because of her “gift”, but also because of her family situation.

After terrorist attack I stopped feeling sorry for Jem and Spider, I become angry at them. Each and every their move or decision was making me furious. I literally wanted to grab them on their lapel and shake them, until I would be able to put some sense into their heads. I could somehow justify Jem’s and Spider’s actions, they were after all just scared teenagers. However, Spider’s grandmother’s actions, on contrary more like inactions, made me outraged. I usually don’t care that much for which decisions fictional characters make. The only reason I could think about why I cared this much in case of characters from Numbers is because this book actually touched something deep inside me and definitely didn’t leave me apathetic.

The ending was predictable, nevertheless lamentable with clear and cliché message that the best thing you can do about prophesies or prediction is don’t know them, so you won’t act trying to stop them from coming true.

Rachel Ward is without a doubt an excellent writer. However, I’m not sure if her work is for me, so I’m still undecided if I’m going to read the second book in the series - The Chaos, because by synopsis it sounds much more dreadful than the first one and now I know that Ward is most certainly able to deliver terror and despair.


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