Sunday, December 23, 2018

Book Review: Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

Hardcover, 500 pages

Published November 2018 by Orbit

I have been a fan of Mike Carey long before The Girl With All the Gifts was released and his pen name M.R. Carey suddenly became a better seller. Carey had me with his amazing runs on Hellblazer where he wrote some of the best arcs in the Constantine story. The reason Carey has established such loyalty and sales goes back to his Masterpiece "The Girl With All the Gifts" that breathed fresh air into the tired genre of zombie fiction. The movie with Glen Close is pretty solid too. While none of the follow-up novels under the name M.R. have been nearly as good that has more to do with the high bar that first novel set.

Carey is a great writer, he does an amazing job in this novel with setting and characters. This story does come with a very slow burn, but it worked for me. I have had the opposite reaction to many readers in that I enjoyed the build up of the first 2/3 more than the eventual confrontation and action at the end.

The main character Liz was a great character, former punk rocker now mother of two. Liz is divorced trying to co-parent but her ex is still abusive. Her son Zac helps her and and has become close to a neighbor Fran who survived a kidnapping. The thing that connects the characters and binds them to the story is the trauma they survived. I went into this book cold on the plot based on the strength of Carey as a writer. I suggest anyone interested in this horror fantasy go in knowing as little as possible.

This is a horror novel explores domestic violence and Trauma. Heavy stuff, and I feel Carey does the topic justice. Liz is a sweet and loving mother who wouldn't hurt a fly until her ex-husband pushes her to fantasize about revenge. Beth was her alter ego, the one that helped her to pick up a guitar and live another life. It is Beth that is willing and eager to fight back. This novel is about giving that part of your soul too much power.

In Fran's case it is her imaginary hero a talking fox named Jinx. This part should not work but somehow Carey mostly takes this silly concept and makes it solid.

So why only three stars? This novel starts strong, but the last one hundred pages kinda lost me I found the events a little confusing. I was also a little over the story and felt like 350 might have been a better page count than 500. Over all I liked this novel, and think it is more proof that a new M.R. Carey novel is one I will read each time.

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