Tuesday, 21 June 2016

REVIEW: "The Sudden Appearance Of Hope" by Claire North // Kickass Females + Sadness

Published May 17th 2016 by Redhook

Page Count: 480 pages (Hardback)

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Science-Fiction, Fantasy .

RATING: ★★★★☆/4/5

I inhaled this book like one might inhale an old smell that reminds them of good ol’ times; I held this book in my hands and though ‘Ah, North Claire – I know you won’t disappoint me’, which was quite a delusional assumption to make since I literally didn’t even bother to read the back of it before running to buy it. It’s a Claire North book, alright?! I had to own it IMMEDIATELY!

Why? Well if you’ve read my review of Claire North’s debut novel, “The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August” then you know how much I admire this author, and how scared I am of her because I’m pretty sure she’s not human just because of how GENIUS she is! 

If you haven’t read anything by her yet, the first thing you need to know is that Claire North writes the most complicated characters, and they usually come with the most undesirable ‘super-power’, abilities that just eventually ruin their lives and put them in some terrible situations where they literally not only have to deal with their abnormal issues but also, just casually, somehow save the world.

When I read the synopsis, I literally couldn't think of a way, or a direction in which the story might unfold in because it’s just so TRIPPY! These characters will destroy you and make you sad, and then excite you in a way that will give you the ultimate creeps. 

That’s the beauty of Claire North’s books; it’s like “The Da Vinci Code”….on drugs.

While North’s debut deals with time-travel - a worn-out and tired trope, “The Sudden Appearance Of Hope” introduces a female character with an unlikely ability (disability??)  that I have definitely never read before, which was one of the first things that made me excited for this book!

"My name is Hope Arden, and you won't know who I am. But we've met before-a thousand times. It started when I was sixteen years old. A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger. No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit, you will never remember who I am. That makes my life difficult. It also makes me dangerous. The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of a girl no one remembers, yet her story will stay with you forever."

Source (Publisher) / Goodreads / Book Depository (Affiliate)

The Characters

If you can trust one thing about Claire North’s books, is that you will always find very clever and adverse characters that are faced with bizarre situations that threaten the well-being of their world, and so then these morally conflicted beings are forced into a role of unlikely superheroes, and their manners of saving the world will shock, scare and intrigue you.

Her characters are so clever, and none of them are purely good or evil – AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES THEM SO REALISTIC, and you never know who to trust, and you get back-stabbed every few chapters, just as you begin to trust a certain character and it’s just GLORIOUS, and oh man, all these characters are so genius I literally had to take a minute several times to let my mind process all of it.

I swear, I’ll be 86 and I’ll be sitting in my rocking chair by the fire and I’ll still be thinking about Claire North’s characters, they’re just that GOOD!

You'll Never Know What Hit You 

Half the time when I was reading this book, at the back of my mind I could hear myself screaming HOLY SHIT WHAT THE HELL WHAT THE HELL, because Claire North will literally not give you a second to breathe before she’s throwing you into a world where sanity is not a thing of existence and you’ll feel like you’re seeing an action-flick that has been cut and structured all wrong. It’s absolutely crazy, and at times you might not know what’s going on, but that’s what makes me love her books so much, because at the end you get to see the broader picture and realization hits you harder than a bulldozer, and you get this satisfactory feeling and it's so, so cool!

Girl Power

This one also contains some KICKASS FEMALES who kicked not only mine, but each other’s butts…and that always earns the extra brownie points with me! So many strong and lovable female characters I felt like I was in heaven; you'll get the sweet and the innocent AND the bat-shit crazy and revengeful. Claire North knows what she is doing when it comes to women and their characteristics. 

The Ending That Should Have Been

The ending…Ohhhh why do the endings always do this to me; why must I be so specific on what I want for an ending, and then feel crushing disappointment when it doesn’t happen. That’s just it! I will never be TRULY satisfied!

So here’s the thing... this EPIC and amazing, action-packed thing happened towards the end, and I was basically holding my breath waiting to see how it would all tie-up and shock me beyond return, but then it just kept going and going and NOT ENDING.

 So I was like ‘Okay, this must mean that that wasn’t even Claire North’s final form!’ and I got so excited I think I started kicking the air, and then I was just waiting and waiting, and it kept going and then it just ended and I was just like… Oh? That’s it?’

I honestly felt so betrayed, and just so SAD. The ending was just so anticlimactic and at that point I totally saw it all coming, and it was just no fun anymore, and in hindsight, I think perhaps it was just a case of a story dragging on for the sake of closing all open ends, which I’m thankful for, but still…I wanted AN ACTION PACKED FIGHT and EPICNESS and FEMALES KICKING MORE BUTT, but then at the end it was more like getting backstabbed by a knife you totally saw coming…

I did say that I enjoyed all the earlier backstabbing in the book, so I guess it was just one more for the road and then it was done! Can't complain too much, now can I?


Although I probably much prefer “The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August”, this one has a lot to offer too and I will absolutely be shoving it down everyone’s throat at any opportunity presented!

Now tell me, what other books have you read where you felt like you literally couldn’t trust a single character? What character have you read with the most unique ‘powers’? Tell me all that and whatever else you want down in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. Okay, firstly, I have Harry August waiting on my shelf and seems like I should really read it soon!
    I love moral greyness and unreliable characters but I guess I don't read them that often? I do love when characters are realistic though. I think I'll this one to my TBR. Great review!