Mikey is an ordinary teenager. About to finish at high school, worried and excited about the changes college will bring. He isn’t like the indie kids, you know, the ones with the funny names who dress in black and die or save the world every generation. He and his friends are just living their lives, trying not to get caught up as collateral damage when the vampire love epidemic strikes, or the ghosts arise, or whatever supernatural event it is this time.
Mikey and his friends are not the Chosen few. They are the ones in the background, living their lives, just trying to get through each day, but what does that mean when the apocalypse is on its way? Do you just ignore it all and prepare for prom?
Ness is an author I will always read. His Chaos Walking trilogy means that I must read his books, even when I’m not quite sure what I think about them [ref]The Crane Wife for example. I loved half of it but the second half left me a little hmmm[/ref]
This I found a very interesting read. Now often that can be a knock, interesting is very non-committal isn’t it? It could be interesting because it was so bad and unreadable, but that’s not what I mean about interesting here. Instead I mean interesting in all the good ways, it makes you think about things in a different way. Especially if you’re a fan of end-of-the-world teenage fiction, you know, like Buffy [ref]do the young people’s still watch Buffy? Cause she’s awesome[/ref]. So imagine Buffy from the point of view of a background character, one of the teens wandering the halls but never actually getting involved in any of the “goings on” and you’ll have the central premise of this story. And that is the sort of story that really interests me, the average person’s. Of course it is difficult to write because the average person so often suffers at the hands of events outside their control, and it doesn’t make for a great story when all the plot details are happening off-stage. Ness makes it work here though.
Every chapter gives a quick recap of what the “indie” kids are getting up to in their quest to save the world. And then we get back into the world of Mikey and his friends. They know that something is going on, and on occasion it certainly impacts on them, but for the most part this is the story of teenagers learning who they are, and who they might become.
It’s about the little things, which really are the big things, because life is in the details.