Two years after London is struck by a devastating terrorist attack, it is cut off from the world, protected by a military force known as Choppers.
The rest of Britain believe that the city is now a toxic, uninhabited wasteland. But Jack and his friends, some of whom lost family on what has become known as Doomsday, know that the reality is very different.
At great risk, they have been gathering evidence about what is really happening in London, and it is incredible. Because the handful of Londons survivors are changing. Developing strange, fantastic powers. Evolving. (goodreads.com)
Pyr sent me a catalogue and LONDON EYE sounded interesting so I requested it. I’m getting more and more into the whole superhero type of story thanks to The Avengers and this book seemed to have taken a different twist on that as well as your more traditional post-apocalyptic story so I wanted to see what was it about.
London is an oasis of horror and, for the most part, the world has gone on around it and has effectively forgotten about London save for the supposed horror stories that come out of it. This story focuses mainly on Jack and Lucy-Anne as their POVs alternate throughout. Their motley crew also includes Sparky, your token crude class clown, Jenna, the chick pining for Jack with Sparky wistfully dreaming of her, and Emily, Jack’s nine-year-old sister who has a hard time deciding what age she wants to act depending on the scene. All of these kids are living with various stages of family: Lucy-Anne lost everyone, Jack and Emily only have each other, Sparky has both parents but lost his brother and Jenna scraped by without losing anyone.
An Irregular, their name for the mutated people of London, shows up at their house and they think it’s a good idea to take her at her word and follow her into the Toxic City. This was pretty much were the plot started losing me. Half of these kids are in survival mode and it’s been two years since London collapsed. They stopped believing the lies the government was telling them. You’d think they’d be a little more skeptical of some stranger feeding them information. Granted she did give them proof by showing them her ability but just because you can heal me doesn’t mean I’m going to follow you into a wasteland, you know?
On top of that the writing was meh at best. It was very basic, short by the way of description and was just fine stringing sentences along without any flare at all. It was all a bit dry, even the action scenes, so it was a struggle to keep reading. I very nearly DNFd the book until blood started flowing. I’m sick, I know.
The author went places that needed to be gone to for the story and he wasn’t afraid to do it. Their little crew certainly didn’t escape pain and suffering and fractured psyches. They witnessed death and destruction first hand and way too close for comfort and it really rattled the cozy world they built for themselves on the outside. Not like they went in thinking it was all roses but it’s one thing to hear stories and quite another to witness them firsthand.
Also, when Rosemary, the Irregular that brought them into the city, really started stringing them along the kids stopped putting up with it. I liked Lebbon’s realism in that regard instead of having them blindly trust the adult despite all the crap she dragged them through. That woman blew their trust real quick and by the end of the book she hadn’t earned it back. I liked that.
The writing just wasn’t jiving with me. It was really bare bones and told the story in the basest way possible. There was little to no flare, no feeling, and when one of the characters attempted to display emotion it was robotic and cold. It was hard to connect to any of them as a result and it kept me really distanced from the story. It was the reason why I almost stopped reading but when the bodies started flying I decided to stay with it, mainly because I was already about halfway through an otherwise short book at that point and I’ve had a string of DNFs lately that I wanted to end. I wasn’t thrilled by the prospect of more of this story but like I said above it certainly had its redeeming qualities to it.
It was okay. Just okay. While I liked the brutality of the author and how he wasn’t afraid to go where the characters really needed to go in order to make the world and plot believable the lackluster writing kept me from connecting with it in any meaningful way. I need some flare to my prose and while it by no means has to be purple I wouldn’t mind a very fair shade of lilac. Something to make the characters appear more than robots jerking through the story.
Reaper and the dynamic between him and Jack was intriguing and I would like to know if Lucy-Anne (whose name bothers me greatly) eventually finds her brother but I’m really not compelled to read the next book in the series. I don’t care ENOUGH to keep reading. So I probably won’t.