Here we have a literary creation definitely deserving of the term “novel”. Sent to me by my fellow book fanatics at Blackthorn Book Tours, I found this novel to be particularly unique. I have yet to read a similar story but it was the format in which this novel was written I found to be quite interesting.
How many hearts can a song touch? How many ears can it reach? How many people can it kill? When popular boy band Whoa-Town releases their latest album, no one thinks anything of it. They certainly don’t think that the world will be changed forever. After an apocalyptic disease sweeps the world, it becomes clear that the music of this seemingly innocuous boy band had something to do with it, but how? Katherine Maddox, her life irrevocably changed by a disease dubbed The Drop, sets out to find out how and why, to prevent something like The Drop from ever happening again.
The basic line of the story is about a new boyband (which I personally can’t stand boybands, No I didn’t have New Kids on the Block gear and No, I didn’t care about N’Sync or the Backstreet Boys, in fact, I had to look up that last one on Google because I couldn’t remember their name). But it’s not just about the band and the goofy kids that teenyboppers drool over. It’s about their music and what kind of impact a particular album of theirs has on the world.
As this new boyband, named “Whoa-Town” (their manager should be shot for that name, the abbreviation is WT, ya know, like white trash, bad marketing move in my opinion, but moving on…) hits legendary status as it sweeps across first the nation, then the planet, a number of weird things that cannot be explained begin to happen.
Teens everywhere are starting to become obsessed with listening to this music. Not just normal “oh my god, it’s Elvis” kind of obsessed and these kids passed Beatlemania in a matter of days. What they progress to is a kind of zombie-like addiction to the Whoa-Town music. One in which if their music or music apparatus is taken from them, loses battery or power, these teens go absolutely freaking postal. They spaz out, screaming, yelling, throwing things (even themselves) onto the floor, into walls, out windows. It’s an odd reaction to loving a band. I mean, I love Pink Floyd with an unmeasurable passion but I wouldn’t chuck something at someone for wanting to stop the music to talk to me or heave myself off of a cliff because someone took my mp3 player. Talk about needing therapy…or a straight-jacket.
As things get stranger and more dangerous, the members of Whoa-Town disappear, nobody knows where they are and there is no way to get in contact with them. Their manager, a greasy sleazeball named Rick Reaves, is sometimes available for comment, others not so much. N He is especially interested in this story. And honestly, nothing but this story. He’s a real piece of work. He knowingly sends one of his journalists out on assignment to get the skinny on what is really going on. There is something about this Whoa-Town epidemic that is making people sick, even killing them…or cause them to kill someone else.
This leads to Katherine Maddoxx. She’s on one dangerous and volatile assignment. There are threats being made, attacks on her, burglaries, witness intimidation. Katherine knows she’s onto something major. She also knows she needs protection and demands her manager get her a bodyguard of some sort. That is when we meet Freddie.
Together they travel the nation, questioning person after person, collecting information, trying to put the puzzle together and trying not to get killed in the process. With Rick invested in the fortune and glory of the story, Katherine and Freddie have more personal reasons to uncover the truth.
The unique format in which this story was written was a little confusing and took a little getting used to, but it did add a different type of frame for the pictures being painted by the author. Though the back and forth between the style of a standard novel and the style of what I would call press releases and articles can be somewhat unclear at first, it becomes an entertaining and interesting way of delivering necessary information to the reader about the facts of the story.
The timeline of the novel is also a little crazy, as it goes back and forth as well. At times this can be very vexing because there are so many flashbacks and flashforwards, but this tale would be virtually impossible to tell without them. It all adds a certain realism to a story that, in today’s technological world, doesn’t seem so far out of the realm of true reality. Another irritating thing about the text was the number of typos and grammatical errors all throughout the novel. This is particularly upsetting because it disrupts the flow for the reader and it’s something that can easily be remedied by using spell and grammar check. It’s something like this that not only takes away from the excellent material itself but also sends a message that the author was in a hurry, didn’t care or unfortunately too lazy to use a simple click of a mouse.
The great thing about this book is that there really aren’t any dull spots. Plus, you learn what the characters learn as they learn it. Just as you would if you were an investigator on a case in real life. Again, bolstering the feel of realism and truth. Also, this is the kind of horror that can really get to me because, to me, this is something that someone could actually pull off to a certain degree. The horror that could happen in real life, that’s the stuff that really creeps me out.
There are little portals into the world of politics, political views and controversies, but it seems that the author was just trying to paint an accurate picture of life and society today, which I think was actually done successfully. The author has spliced in a precise and meticulous representation of society today with the struggles of civil and political unrest.
There are certainly some parts of this book that are NOT for the faint of heart. Intricate details and imaginative vocabulary bring to light astounding images in the mind of the reader that one is usually only used to seeing on television.
Another very interesting addition to the writing format is the inclusion of Maddoxx’s journal entries. These give the reader a real emotional insight into the plague and horror that these people are currently living in and with. Although incredibly open and honest, even vulnerable at times, the entries seem a little long at certain points and more a bit like the ramblings of a stressed-out woman, which I get is the point, but still, for inclusion in a novel some are a bit lengthy in my opinion.
Overall, this book had a great story, fantastic detail and imagery and incredible suspense that takes the reader through a wild emotional rollercoaster as they flip through the pages, following Katherine and Freddie on their long and dangerous journey to the truth.
About the Author
Jacy Morris is a Native American author born in 1979 in Virginia. He is a registered member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. At the age of ten he was transplanted to Portland, Oregon, where he developed a love for punk rock and horror movies, both of which tend to find their way into his writing. Under the pseudonym The Vocabulariast, he was the writer/owner/CEO of the website MovieCynics.com from 2007-2014. He graduated from Portland State University with a Masters in Education. He has been an English and social studies teacher in Portland, Oregon since 2005.
His first film, All Hell Breaks Loose has a cult following. His second film, entitled The Cemetery People is now in post-production.
He has written several books, including the "This Rotten World" series, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Killing the Cult, and "The Enemies of Our Ancestors" series. The Abbey was his first book under his real name. In between drinking beer and watching horror movies and hockey, he is currently working on the following books: An Unorthodox Cure, and the fourth chapter of This Rotten World.
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Drop-Jacy-Morris/dp/1674417225
Amazon star rating: 4.5