Saturday, 28 June 2008

Review: Prismatic by Edwina Grey

I quite enjoyed Prismatic - it's an interesting book from a number of different viewpoints. Firstly there's the 'author', Edwina Grey, who is actually three different authors (David Carroll, Kyla Ward and Evan Paliatseas), who each wrote one of three narratives which have been braided together to form the whole. The narratives each take place in Sydney, but in a different time, in 1789 with the first settlers, in 1919 after the first great War and during an influenza pandemic, and finally 'Now'. In each time a disease, 'Prism' which causes carriers to see prisms of light, be prone to extremes of anger and violence and, er, eating brains. While Prism was contained in the earlier periods, it poses much more of a threat in modern Sydney - not only because of its larger population and the ability to travel almost anywhere in hours - but also because of a (ancient??) evil who is trying to use Prism for their own advantage. Each section of the story was well written and I really enjoyed the historical aspects of the 1798 and 1919 sections. I'm not sure how much Prism is supposed to echo zombism, though it certainly did for me. Jacqueline, protagonist of 'Now' and I guess the overall hero of the tale is not a stereotypical one. Covered in tatts, peircings and self doubt, she fumbles to the final ending, which did actually surprise me, although looking back it wasn't *that* an original twist. While the action did seem a little random at time, particular in the 'now', overall I felt the story did well in striving for something original and readable.

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