Saturday, 18 June 2011

Phobic Dawn - Katy Walters (ARC)



Title: Phobic Dawn
Author: Katy Walters
Genre: Sci-Fi / Thriller
Published: 2011
Formats: Ebook

Release Date : 4th July 2011

I will start this review by letting you all know that I was given a copy of Phobic Dawn by the publisher as part of their e-reader test programme. Basically, I was to read over the novel and highlight any obvious formatting issues that had appeared when viewing it on my Kindle. For that reason my review of the book will not comment on the formatting or grammar etc. as I am going to assume that anything I and other testers highlight will be rectified prior to the official release of the book. I am just going to stick to the story and the manner in which it is told.

Anyway, the story starts up as if this is a normal crime mystery novel set in the near future. We get to follow the police as they attempt to solve some rather sickening crimes involving murder and abduction of various women. However, the story quickly expands beyond this as the main investigating officer, Ben Tobin visits a therapist due to his growing phobia to snakes and other developing mental issues. This is the first stage in the ever expanding storyline that involves conspiracy, cover-up and dark secrets that are slowly revealed.

I suppose the simplest description of this novel is that it is a Sci-Fi Thriller. However, it is much more than this as it is very varied in its scope, with sci-fi elements, action, mystery, crime, romance and thrills aplenty. The overall plot is also rather enjoyable and it is told in a slow and deliberate manner, yet the story is also interspersed with various individual revelations that are quickly revealed. I liked this as it made sure that there was always something new to be revealed but still an overall mystery would remain. In my opinion it keeps the reader interested as they do not know what will be revealed next, yet the overall mystery remains.

I did note that the author is very descriptive in regards to her writing style and most things are detailed quite thoroughly throughout the novel. Personally I prefer novels written in a less descriptive manner than this but it wasn't something that affected my enjoyment of the story. Other than this, I did feel that she had created a novel full of interesting characters with various flaws and weaknesses. This was nice to see as it made the characters seem to be human and fallible which can sometimes be lacking in novels, especially Sci-Fi related ones.

One thing that did come across quite strongly was some of the author's psychology background as I felt there was quite a lot of psychological discussion throughout the novel. This is reasonable considering the overall plot of the story but I have to admit that as I am not that interested in psychology and such, therefore some if didn't really make much sense to me. I think that this was probably the aspect of the novel I disliked the most as my lack of overall interest in the subject of psychology and neurology made it difficult for me to read.

I won't go into the romance aspect of the story much except to say that once again it didn't really ring true with me. From the point of view of Ben and his various issues, the way he was feeling and how it came across did actually make sense and was well written. However, the therapist Lucy just seemed to fall in love with Ben after spending a few days with him. In my opinion she didn't have the various issues that made it an understandable reaction as it is with Ben. I just don't get people seemingly "falling in love" that quickly, maybe it is just me but it always feels a little like it is being forced for the sake of the story. As I have said in previous reviews though, it could just be me being a grumpy old goat.

Overall, I did enjoy the thriller/crime aspect of the story and the various secrets that are revealed throughout kept me interested. I just didn't really find the psychological aspects of the storyline very interesting personally and this is a reasonable portion of the overall novel. In the end though, there was enough there to make me pick up the sequel that Katy Walters is planning on releasing in the future. I hope that this novel will cover more of the overall conspiracy aspects of the world she has created as I found that this had captured my interest. Basically, there is a lot to this novel and it won't appeal to everyone, but there are plenty of sample chapters around the internet so give them a read and pick up the full novel if you enjoy them.