on Jan. 24, 2013 :
The Low Down: This is the future, where there is no longer a world as it once was. The United States has been broken down into walled areas with a lot of space in between. There are only four races recognized, four pureblood races that can live inside these cities, eat well, get an education, prosper. Everyone else lives outside the walls. These outside areas are full of mixed-race people living in deplorable conditions. Mutts. Scraping by without much to eat, a decent place to live or medicine. Someone does rule the wilderness, imposing taxes, ruling by mob enforcement and controlling the drug trade, but taking care of the "subjects" is way down at the bottom of the list.
Timothy is in great need of medical attention that he can't get on the outside. He makes a hazardous journey to the city of Rittenhouse, looking for the man who can help him. Emery is the man, a pureblood who has made his house and property a safe haven for those outsiders who need help that they cannot get otherwise. Together, they must leave the safe confines of Emery's home, elude the local guards, sneak out of the city and find the de facto leader of the Mutts so Timothy can survive. While Timothy wonders why a pureblood would help a mutt, Emery wonders why he can't help more of them.
Best Thang ‘Bout It: The story starts to lay itself out nicely in the beginning, presenting the questions and mysteries that are to come. The descriptions of the people, the landscape, the action are all vivid and evocative. The story picked up again for me at the end.
I’m Cranky Because: The dialogue, at times, was not on par with the storytelling. It could be trite or limp at times. The action was a little slow-moving. I felt like there was a lot of information that I didn't have as well; things would be mentioned, almost in passing, and I wasn't sure at the time if it was important. For example, there was no talk of magic, then it is mentioned. In another instance, a guard disappears in a cloud of dust. I was left to wonder: real dust? Or did he disappear or turn into something else? It seemed more like an afterthought. I actually got more information from the synopsis on Amazon regarding the back story.
I would have liked to know more about the state of the country, why there are purebloods, how the mutts were removed from society. I just don’t know what weight to give to these things.
To Read or Not To Read: This was a hard one for me. I really went back and forth over my rating; I personally didn't think it was a solid read; it wavered back and forth between good and meh. Others thought differently, and you can click the links below to see their reviews. I will leave it at that.
Mutt by Evan Fuller was published December 1, 2011 by Lords of Autumn. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review.
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Dystopian
Ages: 14 and up
You Might Want to Know:Mild profanity
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)
on Sep. 18, 2012 :
I’m not quite sure how I am typing this review right now. My eyes are SOO sore from looking at a computer screen for 2 hours, because I’m reading this book on my computer. It was so worth it though. I couldn’t stop reading this book!
Once I started to read, my first thought was not a good one. I knew this type of book, or at least I thought I did, and these types are all well and good, but they weren’t MY type. I’m not a fan of books that exist in their own world, because that’s sort of hard for me to follow. One of the negatives about this book for me is that you do have to pay attention to the history of the place and the people, which got way too complicated for me. I was just like “um….will this be important later on? Do I have to memorize this?” If it weren’t for that one thing, this book would have gotten a 10/10.
Now on to the positives, which is like, everything else. This plot was so original! I haven’t read or seen anything like it before. That’s so refreshing to find something so original in young adult fiction writing. I feel like most of the stuff I read is just not giving me anything to work with! It doesn’t keep my interest. Well THIS did. I was so enticed in the plot and the mission Emery faces.
Can I just say that I love Emery as a character? He’s such a good person, even though he has a dark past. Some characters in book totally mess themselves up with a dark past, but Emery decides to do something really great for the people less fortunate outside Rittenhouse. He is not whiny or complaining about anything.
Despite the fact that I have a hard time following books “in their own world,” I could follow this one pretty easily. There were some things that I didn’t understand about what people looked like or what the setting looked like, but it’s explained really well. Beautiful writing in this book, I mean, seriously.
Even if this “isn’t your type” of book, you have to try it. I loved it so much! You will love the setting, plot, characters, and writing. And those are, for me, the four great-book keys. And this book has it all. So go read it!
A special thanks to Evan Fuller for letting me read this awesome book for free. :)
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)
on Sep. 16, 2012 :
I really enjoyed Mutt! It is very unique and not like other dystopian books you'll see that are mostly just about the main characters love and not the actual plot. It's good to know we still have good writers out there. (: This is definitly a book I'll read over and over and look forward to a sequel.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on April 29, 2012 :
When I jumped into Evan Fuller's Mutt I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. I have read independent authors' novels before that have left me confused, angry, and even tired, so I won't lie, I was a bit weary. But Fuller's debut into the world of writing is an exciting and fluently written story that delves into the politics of humanity if the world were to experience catastrophic events (I'd like to even say that the points raised in the novel can be used to compare the different powers that countries in the present global economy hold).
The cover is intriguing and it forces the reader to look for any hints of what is offered within the pages. The magic can be seen in the wisps of smoke coming off Green, the central magical character in the novel, and the rough life of the Wastelands can be noted in the wear and tear of his clothing. The colour of the background might indicate the "wasteful" atmosphere that the characters explore.
The following synopsis is from smashwords:
"Centuries after most of humanity died out, a new civilization is slowly constructed upon the remnants of the old.
Emery, a young man living in the walled city of Rittenhouse, has taken it upon himself to rescue "mutts," as the citizens of Rittenhouse call the impoverished masses outside. When Timothy, a boy afflicted with a fatal illness, seeks Emery's help, the two embark on a deadly errand to secure the medicine Timothy needs. This mission takes them from the safety of Rittenhouse into the wasteland outside it, where ancient superstitions are reborn and humanity struggles to survive amidst the ruins of a fallen American metropolis."
To be honest, I have become a fan of Fuller's writing and only really had two complaints while reading the novel.
1. Editing. Though not to such an extent that it distracted me from the story, the editing could have been a bit more thorough. Some of the errors include: a few missing quotation marks, extra words, oddly phrased sentences, and missing words. The problems with editing weren't so huge that it completely killed the novel because the writing was still beautiful. Don't let this deter you though: a) because I am a stickler for these things in novels, and b) the story is brilliant and thought-provoking.
2. There is one moment where a professor is called out of a classroom and I never get to find out what happened... I would love to see an answer in the sequel!
1. Fuller's writing is effortless. When I first began reading Mutt, I found myself lost in the world of Rittenhouse and the Wastelands (which immediately brought my thoughts to T.S. Eliot, but I digress). The writing is fast-paced and this is mainly why I finished so quickly!
2. There is a scene that terrified the hell out of me. Why is this a positive? Because I rarely find novels that legitimately have sections that scare me to the point were I feel uncomfortable. For example, there's a point where Emery, the protagonist, is attacked and his thoughts become erratic. How does Fuller present the mental change of his character? By writing one long run-on sentence, which is an excellent technique when done purposefully with the intention of disturbing the reader and making him/her wonder why the author has written such a sentence.
3. The emotions that the characters experience are well written and I found myself empathizing with them. Let me tell you, some moments in this book will break your heart, while others will make you just as angry as the characters themselves.
4. The characters all varied for me. Lydia was a bit of a nag, but I understand why. That whole (spoiler) romance in the novel was a bit unexpected, but I hope that it is explored further in the next novel since it left me feeling a bit confused. The people in and from the Wastelands had a great dialect, which Fuller continuously used. He varied it slightly as the social status of the characters either rose or fell. Emery is of a higher class, so his dialogue was rich and intelligent.
5. The description of things that survived after the extinction of the world as we know it and how the world rebuilt itself is brilliant. It was fascinating to see how things would be in such a world and how our actions now would be viewed later.
Mutt is a great debut novel and I urge you to read it if you enjoy dystopian novels that not only explore magic, but also the political issues behind the changes that the world undergoes when it is trying to fix itself.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)