Friday, July 11, 2014

Dumb characters meet confused plot

Ceremony of Flies

By Kate Jonez

Publisher: DarkFuse

Pub. date: July 8, 2014

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Kate Jonez's Ceremony of Flies gets off to a promising but implausible start. Irrepressible loser chick named Kitty (or Emily depending on her mood) is working a lousy job in Las Vegas with the clearly impossible dream of becoming a singer. In a very implausible scene, she accidentally kills her boss and goes on the run aided by a guy she met in a bar. From there on, it gets very implausible as our "heroes" stumble into a double killing, drives into the desert, and runs into a very weird situation.

Sorry if I say "implausible" a lot. It's the key word here. Even in a novel that has supernatural elements, of which you don't find out about until three quarters of the way through, there should be some basic logic. Once Kitty flies off with equally implausible (there I go again!) Rex, all logic is out the window not to mention common sense and any sign that either one has an ounce of intelligence. But the main fatality in this short novel is a sense of the author having any knowledge of where to take her ideas. Ceremonies of Flies starts out of a crime noir road novel. The two main characters are, if stupid, at least funny in their stupidity. So now it looks a little like a Thelma and Louise style farce without the extra chick. Then we get to the supernatural tie-in and that is where the author loses me. I don't think I ever read a novel so short that felt like two books. The maddening thing is that the author has a clever and smart style of writing. If only she could have settled on a plot.

So overall, despite its promising beginning, this is a face-palm fail of a novel. I really wanted it to work and because of that I give it a very generous two stars. But unlike in the book, reality must eventually set in and I must stay "Nope. Doesn't work."

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