Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Review: River Dawn
River Dawn by Stephen Graff
RIVER DAWN presents two families living in very different times and worlds, but two families that mirror each other in almost every way. In our present world, 15 year old Alice is on vacation with her somewhat clueless father, her restless mother, and younger brother. They are traveling by bus through a vast tidal marsh. Alice notices the beauty of a natural world that is starting to fray—just as her own family seems to be falling apart. She also takes notice of a young man named Daniel and she’s trying to strike up the nerve to get to know him. In the distant future, another Alice is on a journey through a dark, flooded world controlled by heartless killers that is on the verge of dying. She is also dealing with a fractured family, and she meets and falls in love with a mysterious young man named Daniel. But the stakes are higher for her. She must find a way to survive in this ravaged setting; a ruthless preacher and his followers are stalking Alice, her family, and Daniel as they make their way downriver. She must also find a way to meet the Alice of the past, to let her know what has become of the world they both share and find a way to save their two worlds before it’s too late. A tattered journal is the method of communication between the two young women. On a storm-battered island, in the shadow of an abandoned lighthouse they will meet: one last chance to bring hope to a world on the edge and to save a future world that may not see another dawn. RIVER DAWN is a speculative suspense novel for mature teens, young adults, and general readers interested in dystopian fiction.
I'm not sure even where to start.. From the blurb, I expected a set of stories intertwining together. What I got was something completely different, and I have to say, confusing. The main story takes place in a dystopian society, one after a great flood. I kept waiting for the other story to be developed, however never got more than a small glimpse into the "other side". Apparently, one of the main characters, Alice, was supposed to be able to make a difference and help the post-flood world not happen? The book never really explained fully what was going on with the two separate parallel worlds and I don't feel like they tied together well at all. Many times during reading this book, I had to back up a page or two, just to try to figure out what happened. The story seemed to jump around a lot and without warning, or even a break in the page, change to a different character's point of view and sometimes to a completely separate reality. I honestly feel like the story was incomplete, as if there was a pretty decent story in the author's mind, it just wasn't all written down, or conveyed into words. The book felt, to me, to be just a venue to say that global warming is real and this is what will happen; which would be fine, it it was at all easy to follow..
I have read a few reviews about this book giving it 5 stars and praising the genius of the author.. I just don't see it. Maybe it's "over my head", but to me it was confusing, and not well put together.
I had to give this book only 1 star.. :(