Monday, January 14, 2013
The Farm (The Farm, #1) by Emily McKay
The Farm by Emily McKay
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…
And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.
Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I feel tricked.
I went into this thinking I’d get an fashioned horror read only to come away with another paranormal. This is another case of ‘this could have been so much more.’ Had it stuck to path it was on in the first third, I’d likely have loved this.
In that first third, we’re introduced to Lily, a girl who’s suspicious and guarded and protective. Mostly, she’s in turns stick in the mud then super smart and can-make Molotov cocktails (because she and her sister had so conveniently holed herself in a science building.) So, she’s a little Miss MacGuyver, with only one goal of protecting her sister. It’s the sister, in fact, who’s the most interesting (well, her and Sebastian.)
So, the sister… It’s her voice that’s of a different sort. You have to work her meaning out and still come away unsure about what she’s saying because you’re sure that there’s something deeper in there. The closest comparison I can make is SHATTER ME. She talks in images and sounds… and it could have been over the top and flowery and out of place, but her voice pops up in so few instances that it’s what becomes cause of excitement in this otherwise old hat story of boy-saves-girl-but-boy-has-secret-that’s-bound-to-have-said- girl-turn-on-him.
Even the addition of the bloodthirsty baddies became less for me somehow when it jumped in on the bandwagon of let’s poke fun at vamps that sparkle. (God, when will people grow tired of that comparison?) Otherwise, the baddies are baddies indeed and coming at them from more than one side, too. Yet on this aspect again I’m undecided because yes, things did get interesting but that’s in the midst of other aspects being merely ‘blegh’.
The biggest disappointment though is thinking the baddies in this one would be something else. I picked this up feeling a touch nostalgic over being scared by things that shouldn’t really be scary. I have the Amazing Tales (?) to thank for that. (Remember the killer wig? Who else recalls being creeped out by that toupee crawling across the floor then disappearing somewhere just beyond your line of sight?) Back on track, for some reason I was thinking this would run along those lines. I was wrong. Here we have boy loves girl and boy saves girl and girl misunderstand boy and bla bla bla. Really, though how could I not have had those expectations with declarations of KILLER ticks made then that cover that’s all broody and dark?
So here I was, all excited till’ I wasn’t anymore.
Sure, my interest was again piqued with their labels. Clever little things if not a little obvious, so obvious in fact, I should have taken them as hints as they related to what disappointed me the most in this one (see above). We’ve the bad guys, the not so good guys and then the hapless nitwits who can’t do anything about anything; Collabs, Breeders and Greens, respectively. Clever... but not quite. Moreover, doesn’t KILLER TICK sound much more interesting than killer vampires, right? The second one’s been done to death already and far better too in other books. Plus, the one here is reminiscent of the psychic ones in a book whose title I cannot recall. Only this little book’s like that book’s little brother: trying too hard, only to prove: it’s a different thing (mostly) and not as interesting either.
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