Sunday, April 21, 2013

What Now?

THEM by Adrian Deans

Summary: Rob Lasseter is the great grandson of a legendary explorer. His prized possession is an old parchment, which is thought to be a map showing the location of the fabulous reef of gold. Unfortunately, however, there are no points of external reference on the map. The only words are ‘You are here’, next to an X, but Lasseter doesn’t know where X is – he doesn’t know where to start looking. Inspired by the strange disappearance of the White Haired girl, and the receipt of a letter addressed in his own handwriting from a place he had never been, Lasseter (with his friend Miles, who claims to be dead) embarks upon an odyssey into the centre of Australia and has some very strange adventures. Lasseter thinks he is looking for gold, but instead he finds something far more interesting. An Australian story of pan-cosmic enormity.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Review: A very confusing story that started out with a treasure hunt and turned into something I’m not sure of.

The description of the book interested me enough to want to read it. The description made it seem like the main character, Lasseter, would go searching for a treasure. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. The description mentions Lasseter finding something that would rock his world. Looking back, I would have expected Lasseter to find a gateway to another world or another dimension, find out that aliens exist, find out everyone is in the matrix, or something similar. What he did find was completely unexpected.

Perhaps it’s because I’m not Australian, perhaps it’s because I’m not familiar with the culture, or perhaps it’s how the book was told, but I was confused throughout most of the book. The concept, which became clear near the end, was an interesting concept and it made the book make a little more sense, but as a whole, I was still quite confused. Was there some sort of personal or philosophical message I was supposed to take away? I might have enjoyed this book more if it was told in a clearer manner.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those familiar with Australian culture and are looking for an unusual, speculative read.

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