Tuesday, December 5, 2017

New Book Review - The Vagrant

Book - The Vagrant
Writer - Peter Newman  
Series - The Vagrant #1 
Published By - HarperVoyager

Never did I think a book with such sparse dialogue could have the ability to establish such a detailed world and portray such fascinating characters. 'The Vagrant' does the unthinkable with its mute protagonist wandering through a vivid and weird post apocalyptic landscape while trying to reach the Shining City with his unlikely companions and the reader is literally enthralled throughout his unorthodox yet engrossing journey.

A mute main character in a post apocalyptic setting with intense world building, I thought it might work for movies or generally for visual media, but when I read the synopsis I was quite skeptical whether the author could make it work on writing. But Peter Newman did succeed in his attempt and gave us a vividly imagined world with well fleshed out characters and artistic prose. I found a sense of maturity and purposeful progression throughout the prose that made all the revelations interesting and readers were hooked by the characters on their journey through this bleak and desolate land.

The closest comparison I could find would be 'The Gunslinger' by Mr. King himself, but while it lacked the raw imagination of that book it equally delivered through Newman's sense of direction and his mastery at skillfully altering between various point-of-views while delivering the story.

The character of The Vagrant was kept in mystery and was explored entirely through the viewpoints of others which in my opinion really adds a layer of originality in such a setting. The other mute characters meaning the baby and the goat is also portrayed in such a way that you cannot but feel for their desperate plight. The only one who does most of the talking for the group is 'Harm', who is also a character with depth and is himself an intriguing one. The other minor characters are done with finesse and are well fleshed out. Even the villains are not just bad for the sake of it, but are rather well-done with having their own motivations and even their viewpoints are used by the author to tell their side of the tale.

The setting is quite original, although some of the facts might seem a little similar to some readers of demonic fiction. But there are enough new elements to make the reader guessing at to what to expect. The action sequences are done superbly and have their uniqueness which is a plus for any debut author. Although I would have loved a bit more detail into the past, the backstory of the protagonist did get revealed in the course of time and we get to understand the nature of his relation with the baby and the plight of this desolate world.

Overall, this book was quite an enjoyable read and was quite hard to put down at times. I am surely going to read the rest of the books in the trilogy because I am quite interested to find out what happens to these characters and their world. And as debut author that is quite an impressive feat to achieve now-a-days with so many post apocalyptic fiction being written all around.

I will give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

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