Friday, January 19, 2018

Flying Away by Caroline A. Gill - a nightmare inside a girl's head

Greetings, commies and horror lovers!
Today's feature is Flying Away by Caroline A. Gill, the first book in her Flykeeper Chronicles. In most stories flies are depicted as pests, symbols of decay and parasitism, in contrast to the wholesome and hard-working honeybees, but in this particular novel they are depicted as allies.  And I always like when old images are used in new counter-iconic ways.

When Iolani Bearse was five years old, she lost her father to war. When she was nine, her mother died in a freak car accident. When Lani was fourteen, eerie green lights invaded, tearing her from the only home she had left.

Living as a runaway, dragging a horse and her cousin Eleanor across the countryside, Lani must learn to survive. Now Lani is the only person between the horrible, greedy lights and the last bit of family she has left. Her own heart is barely beating, but powerful memories pull her to Malcolm St. John. She fights what she feels, buried deep within her shattered soul.

Malcolm St. John always held his feelings in, especially about Iolani. So when she shows up on his doorstep, desperate and determined, Mal must decide if the wild tales she spins are the fragments of insanity or the last hope for a dying nation. This Lani is different from the child he knew. Something is coming for her, for him, and will not be stopped

If the cousins and Malcolm can’t escape the grasping hunters who hound them, the future of a broken America will be destroyed. Everything Lani has ever loved will burn with them. Somehow, she must find a path through friendship and loyalty to save them all.

My thoughts
I picked up a Kindle of this novel with another cover, more abstract, with green and red dominating the color scheme. I think I liked it better, because it communicated that eerie, mystical, creepy vibe. The new cover looks too superhero/post-apocalyptic. In my opinion, the old cover fit the content and the genre more. Regardless, I enjoyed this novel tremendously. On several occasions you will have to suspend judgment/disbelief. Do not expect the story line and the sequence of events to make sense 100% of the time. Take this novel as one long nightmare, a compilation of phobias inside the head of a teenage girl who is trying to process bereavement. She is looking for supernatural explanations to natural, albeit unfortunate, events that happen in her life. If you remember the movie "Phantasm" from 1979, that is the vibe you get from this book. So much of it is an allegory. At least that's how I took it. 

Thank you, thank you, Author, for creating a unique, articulate heroine, who is courageous and articulate behind her years. I am thankful that you did not try to make her "just an average Jane" next door. And that flies in your novel are portrayed as allies, not pests or symbols of decay.

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