Book Review: The Ninth Life of Louis Drax

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax

by Liz Jensen.

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax The Ninth Life of Louis Drax tells the story of accident-prone 9-year-old Louis Drax, who is now in a coma. It’s told alternately from his point of view, and the point of view of the doctor hoping to wake him up. The story begins shortly after Louis’ most recent accident, which left him comatose and his father missing. The only awake and available person who knows what really happened is his mother. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that things are not as they seem – and not always explainable. It’s part mystery, part drama, and part magical realism.

The quality of the writing in this book is quite good. The author has imparted a surreal, almost eerie feeling throughout. Moreover, she has convincingly captured the voices of both a disturbed nine-year-old, and a middle-aged French man. Writing in first-person POV when the character is a child is particularly hard to pull off well, but Jensen does it well.

Content-wise, the pace starts out pretty slow. It does pick up farther into the book, which is good. For the most part, the mystery/thriller aspect is handled well, walking the fine balance between giving us enough to pick up on but not making things super obvious (with one glaring exception to this in the matter of the notes). There are some nice surprises and turnabouts. There’s a character who initially appears quite sinister and another who seems a bit off but harmless, but neither ends up being what you’d expect.

As for the magical realism bits… well, one side of them was well-done, but the other side I didn’t really see much of a point to (other than a reveal that could’ve been done many other ways). That, plus some ill-advised romantic interludes put a touch of a sour note on the story, but overall it was still a good read.

This was the most recent pick for the book club I go to, and the consensus was that everyone found it interesting, in a positive way. It’s a pretty quick read, too. If you’re looking for some contemporary light thriller fare, this is a good bet.

I give it 4/5 stars.

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The Ninth Life of Louis Drax

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Tuesday Treasure Trove

Tuesday Treasure Trove

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Book Review: Passenger

passenger

Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken. Etta thinks that she’s a normal girl. Well, maybe not normal. She is a world-class violinist approaching her debut, after all. But one night something goes horribly wrong. Etta wakes up not only somewhere else, but somewhen. Her mother and her haven’t been close in recent years, but you’d think she’d have mentioned that Etta comes from a line of time travelers. But now, separated from everyone and everything she knows, she has to figure out this new ability and why she’s been wrenched from her life and how to get back to it. […]

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Tuesday Treasure Trove

Tuesday Treasure Trove

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Recent Reads

ACOMAF

It’s Thursday, and you know what that means: book talk. Here’s what I’ve been reading recently: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy #1) by Kate Bloomfield. This is a book I picked up randomly off of Amazon. It tells the story of Avalon, a fire mage struggling to control her power. The world is interesting; it’s set in our world in the far future, with much of the past forgotten. Humanity has branched into two distinct groups: Mages, with extraordinary powers born from (one assumes) mutation; and regular humans, who are nothing but slaves to the Mages. The plot is […]

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Tuesday Treasure Trove

Tuesday Treasure Trove

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Book Review: Highly Illogical Behavior

Highly Illogical Behavior

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley. Three years ago, agoraphobic Solomon had the most massive panic attack of his life while at school. He hasn’t left his house since- not even to the backyard. And that’s fine with him. It’s a controlled environment, he knows what to expect, and he has everything he needs. Except, maybe, a friend. Lisa, searching for essay ideas for entry to a top psychology program, suddenly remembers the boy from school who ended up near catatonic in the fountain. Determined to find him and fix him, she embarks on a mission to become his […]

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