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Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 19 May 2019, 11:36
by SunVixen
[Following is a volunteer review of "The Turn" by Matthew Tysz.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
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In Matthew Tysz’s book The Turn events unfold after a terrible catastrophe that really upturned the whole world. The strangest thing is that no one remembers and does not understand what kind of catastrophe it was. Survivors remember only a wave of terrible panic, which swept across the Earth before this "turn", and indescribable chaos after it. Moreover, after the turn, something strange happened to the planet itself. The sun became to look dim, and plant growth slowed down.

The book’s plot is built around the adventures of several people who try to survive in the new world. This is a mercenary named Scholar, a former investment banker Ashley and a mysterious Charlie Virko, who calls himself an "investigator" and tries to figure out what really happened to humanity during the change, and why no one really remembers that event. Later, the human trafficker Markus, also known as Cattleprod, appears on the book’s pages.

Potentially, The Turn could be a great and very unusual book. Unfortunately, due to several shortcomings, it is difficult even to call it a passable book.

One of the main problems is associated with the language. Despite the fact that at times the author succeeds in creating a truly depressive and gloomy atmosphere, his language is very dry and colorless. It seems that it is more the work of an amateur than that of a professional writer. Some sentences are constructed very clumsily. In addition, there are many obscene expressions in the book.

Another problem is that the story in the book is narrated on behalf of several characters. Moreover, all these characters, with the exception of Scholar and Ashley, almost do not interact with each other. Therefore, The Turn is practically divided into several stories that are almost unrelated to each other, and is very difficult to read. The author simply is not skillful enough to connect all storylines together in a quality manner. One has only to get interested in the adventures of one character, as it comes to somebody else. Some characters disappear altogether from the plot and emerge only to reappear through a hundred pages.

In addition, this book is literally stuffed with both internal monologues of the characters, and their extensive dialogues. They indulge in ceaseless reasoning - sometimes even with themselves - that their lives have irrevocably changed, and the old notions of good and evil should be left in the past. All these lengthy reasonings are very monotonous, banal and slow down the development of the plot. It seems that the author tried to create a provocative and shocking book, but failed. It is extremely difficult to shock someone by simply putting the old words of Aristotle or Friedrich Nietzsche into the mouths of the characters.

Besides, many things in this book look too implausible even for fiction. For example, in this post-apocalyptic world on the US territory there is no longer either a common state, or a president, or a government. Only small towns survived, the governments of which control only fields and farms around these townships. Nevertheless, the book’s characters still use paper dollars. But after all, no single currency can survive the disappearance of the state in which it was issued. Without the US government and the FRS, the dollars would turn into useless scraps of paper. Most likely, after such a disaster, people would return to silver, gold or barter. And there are a lot of such mistakes in the book.

The obvious disadvantage of the book is its characters. Of course, The Turn is a cross between post-apocalyptic fiction and dark fantasy, in which the characters are supposed to be a little cynical. Alas, almost all book’s characters, especially Ashley and Cattleprod, turned out not so much cynical as uppity and malicious. It is very difficult to empathize with characters who imagine that they stand above the rest of humanity and look at other people as if they are fools or even a "human cattle".

Nevertheless, the book has some advantages. For example, Matthew Tysz often manages to create a really dark atmosphere. In addition, it differs from other books in the post-apocalyptic genre in that, up to the last chapters, neither the characters nor the readers know what caused the "turn" and what exactly happened during it. After all, no one wants to either talk or think about this event. Usually, the catastrophe itself, be it the appearance of a zombies or the fall of a meteorite to Earth, is told about at the very beginning. But in The Turn, the author honestly maintains the intrigue to the very end, and this forces the reader to get to the last chapter, despite the questionable language, the strange structure of the narrative, and the lengthy reasonings of the characters.

Thanks to this unusual intrigue, The Turn by Matthew Tysz still deserves 2 out of 4 stars. This is the first book in the trilogy and can be read as a separate work. Because of the scenes of violence and obscene expressions, it is not suitable for underage children. But fans of post-apocalyptic fiction, dark fantasy and anti-utopias may well like it.

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The Turn
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Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 31 May 2019, 14:52
by Maria Kozomara
Good introduce for the book. You noticed many details and gave your impressions very well. I am glad because your review published. 🙂

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 02 Jun 2019, 17:42
by SunVixen
Thank you!

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 09 Jun 2019, 14:26
by Letora
I enjoy post-apocalyptic themed books. The quest for survival in dismal times always seems to bring out the worst in people and the best. I'm sad to see that this one seemed to contain a lot of filler in some areas, but not enough development in others. Thank you for reviewing!

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 09 Jun 2019, 15:10
by SunVixen
Letora wrote:
09 Jun 2019, 14:26
I enjoy post-apocalyptic themed books. The quest for survival in dismal times always seems to bring out the worst in people and the best. I'm sad to see that this one seemed to contain a lot of filler in some areas, but not enough development in others. Thank you for reviewing!
Thank you for reading my review.

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 10 Jun 2019, 07:31
by Wyland
I think the author needs to work more on the plot on the apocalyptic novel. Thanks for the review.

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 10 Jun 2019, 10:30
by SunVixen
The plot with an apocalypse that no one remembers is really great. Unfortunately, the book itself is much worse. For example, the narrative jumps from one POV to another, like a kangaroo.

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 22 Jun 2019, 13:54
by Lindsey Klaus
It sounds like the book was in dire need of a developmental editor. The ideas were all there, but the follow-through was lacking. Disappointing. Still, the premise sounds really fun and interesting! This is a really good review. I liked how you justified your rating. It made sense without being harsh. Thanks!

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 01:53
by Aniza Butt
Sad to hear that your experience with the book wasn't really good. I really appreciate your keen observation of the book.
Thanks a lot for an insightful review :tiphat:

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 25 Jun 2019, 09:40
by Nivi Gideon
Oh my... Your review was a thriller by itself. I think this is something I'd want to check out. Thanks for the great review

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 25 Jun 2019, 14:23
by esp1975
I will say, a book where the author puts you in multiple characters POV, even when those characters have no discernible connection to each other CAN work, if the author is skillful. However, the author does have to be skillful, and by the end needs to be able to tie everything together so that it makes sense. I actually struggled with this in William Gibson's Spook Country (second book of the Blue Ant trilogy), but Gibson is an author I trust, and so I kept going, and in the end, he made it worth it. Not everything connected until the last chapter, but when it did, it was "of course this is the way the story had to be told", but I know of very few authors I would trust to pull that off. It sounds like Tysz tried it because it's a great concept, but just wasn't skilled enough to make it work.

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 26 Jun 2019, 11:59
by SunVixen
Of course it can work. However, this can only work if the author is really very skilled and talented (like William Gibson).
Nivi Gideon wrote:
25 Jun 2019, 09:40
Oh my... Your review was a thriller by itself. I think this is something I'd want to check out. Thanks for the great review
Really? Then I'm happy to be the author of a thriller. :D
Thanks for reading my review.
Lindsey Klaus wrote:
22 Jun 2019, 13:54
It sounds like the book was in dire need of a developmental editor. The ideas were all there, but the follow-through was lacking. Disappointing. Still, the premise sounds really fun and interesting! This is a really good review. I liked how you justified your rating. It made sense without being harsh. Thanks!
I really did not want to be harsh to the author. If I had written a book, and other people would have criticized it very harsh, I would be sad.
However, this book is really "in dire need of a developmental editor". :(

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 29 Jun 2019, 03:15
by Charlie19
an apocalypse, a very dark event sounds like a good read to me..

Re: Review by SunVixen -- The Turn by Matthew Tysz

Posted: 08 Jul 2019, 19:46
by Helena91
Your review is very detailed. The book seems to have a lot of downside but I think fans of apocalyptic novels will still like it. Thank you for the review!