Blog Tour: The Incendiaries

This book was an interesting book and I am reals glad I read it.

It’s uncomfortable to read – which, it’s about a young woman’s involvement with a cult told largely through the eyes of her boyfriend (who, if you ask me is a bit of a dick and also a gloriously unreliable narrator) so uncomfortable was always going to be a thing here, but it’s also really really interesting.

It’s really cleverly done, because you have this split narrative – Will, and his girlfriend Phoebe, and the cult leader - and you’re reading it and you can see how messed up the whole situation is and how creepy this cult leader is and there’s so much foreshadowing; there’s no way this is ever going to end well, but at the same time you’ve got Phoebe’s point of view and she’s so disillusioned and she’s carrying around all this misplaced guilt and even though you have the luxury of being able to see the bigger picture, you can still see how Phoebe gets drawn in; you don’t understand it maybe, but you can see it and that’s really clever – showing both sides like that. It makes you feel weirdly uneasy and I always love a book that makes me think about my own self. A little introspection is good for the soul.

The story is mainly Will’s, looking back, but occasionally you get some of Phoebe’s point of view and even rarer still, that of John Leal, the cult leader and the changes are swift and not obvious so sometimes I had to loop back and read again and you don’t know if it’s actually Phoebe or Will’s interpretation of Phoebe and he says a lot how he’s not entirely sure of the sequence of events and I LOVED HOW THAT WORKED – how well it illustrated the unreliability of memory, of telling a tale after the event. Holy run0on sentence batman, what is even my problem.

Honestly, this book stood out for me as being different and different is so so good.

Did I give it 5 stars on old Goodreads? No. I gave it 4, WHICH IS NOT A SHODDY RATING BY ANY MEANS but I’ll tell you why it lost a star. It took a while to get going, and then felt like it sped up super-fast at the end and that was a shame because the last quarter of the book could have been the last half for me and that would have been fine; too much build up to an underwhelming conclusion perhaps because I wanted more of that, I would have gladly taken les of the build-up for more of the nitty gritty and God, but not a single one of the characters was likeable – fascinating yes, but likeable? No. HOWEVER, I kind of feel like I wasn’t supposed to like them, this book wasn’t about that and in that case, mission accomplished.

Overall, it’s really damn good, I liked it, and I hope it does well. You can buy a copy here.