Book Review of Within:
I enjoyed reading the novel Within by Clare Marshall very much. Now that is saying a lot because books in the YA genre are not generally something I read. But I found Within an engaging book, solidly resting in an authentic world of teenage life, laced with the flavour of a paranormal thriller.
The novel centers on three teen friends, Trinity, Zack and Ellie, whose world turns upside down when a car accident leaves Trinity with brain damage. The aftermath of that misfortune and Trinity’s condition steer them toward the paranormal and an unrepentant murderer.
Ms. Marshall has an excellent way with her characters, getting the teenage rendering right in my opinion, making her trio of protagonists realistic people, instead of whining or annoying. She makes the shift from dealing with teen issues like prom and jealousy to heart-breaking tragedy and unexpected treachery flow believably.
I enjoyed the portrayal of Ellie in particular; I found her character strong with the right mixture of teenage insecurity and angst. When dealing with emotional issues she comes across as genuine, a blend of hesitant and love struck, but not maudlin or foolish. Her growth from tentative youth to a more confident (and kick-ass) person grounds the book and allows the reader to identify with the character.
The plot was nicely written as well, although I did find some of the villainous motivation a bit vague and undefined for my taste, especially where it concerned the various henchmen. Still the novel contains thrills and great tension, with a wonderfully heinous main villain and an adroit cat and mouse undertone.
I would say that fans of YA (as well as the less than YA devoted like me) will favour this book and I recommend it.
(On a personal side note, I got a kick out of the city of Halifax as the setting. It’s not often I get to read about places I’ve actually been.)
But then she starts writing. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that the psychotic, murderous protagonist of her novel bears a striking similarity to the charming Wiley Dalton, a mayoral candidate in the upcoming election.
Or, perhaps not…
Within is available at:
Fairy Ink Press: http://www.faeryinkpress.com/books2/within
Amazon (print version): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0987779400/
You can find a complete list of Clare’s Blog Tour stops here: http://www.faeryinkpress.com/archives/1183