Title: Occupy Me
Author: Tricia Sullivan
Source: NetGalley – free ebook in exchange for review
If there was ever a strange book to read, it is this one. I started reading with no idea what the story was about, who the characters were or any inkling of what was going to happen. As a result, I spent the first part of this book feeling quite confused. As the story progressed, this feeling lessened somewhat, but there was always a sense of uncertainty throughout the novel. Even after reading, I am still not entirely sure if I completely followed it. If anything, this is a book which needs to be read twice.
Occupy Me follows two characters – a woman, larger than life with wings folded into her back, and a man, a doctor with two personalities. These I shall go into in the next section of this review. In terms of the plot, that is all you really need to know about them. The plot itself is a time-bending adventure which transcends dimensions. It revolves around a conspiracy which involves the future, the past and a mysterious briefcase. It is an interesting story line, but one that is difficult to understand, especially if you’re trying to read this when tired or unwell.
Unfortunately, neither of the two main characters were particularly likeable. Indeed, I struggled to like any of the characters until Alison came along later in the book. Her arrival, coinciding with the turn towards the more high-concept and weird of the book, certainly helped ground the novel and keep me invested in it. I think my inability to like the two main characters was, in part, due to their nature. Both were completely wrapped up in the conspiracy at the heart of this book which, as a result, meant they were a large part of the strange-ness and peculiarities of the plot.
Sullivan’s writing is beautiful, it mirrors the high concepts and fascinating thoughts which permeate the book and it is in her descriptions of these where her writing really shines. I did, however, have some difficulty getting to grips with her decision to write in both first and second tense, depending on which point of view character it was. Once I got to grips with it, I found it quite an interesting technique to use, especially as it added to the reader’s perspective of the character and what they were experiencing.
Occupy Me is a fascinating novel writing in stunning prose but with a baffling plot that really gets your brain whirring. It Is difficult to get into, but the writing is brilliant and there are moments of pure tension. Not to mention, the time-travel, magic briefcase and presence of dinosaurs make for a rather interesting read.
The Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Occupy-Me/9781473212961/?a_aid=RosieNReads