"The Empty World"
Author: Andrew Reeves
Points to Keep in Mind:
1) For the American English reader; the author Andrew Reeves has written this in British English. British English is NOT American English so please do not judge the syntax, spelling, or dialog by American English standards. It would be unjust as British English is a foreign language to Americans.
2) I asked the author and he confirmed, the books target audience is YA, youth and young adult. I would call it a "coming-of-age" adventure story with Sc-Fi tossed in. So keep that in mind when encountering complex scientific concepts in the story.
Andrew is a good writer, he does not drag on but dives quickly into conflict. By the end of chapter 1 we see the fringes of conflict betwern Danny and another character. So as a reader I was pulled into chapter 2. Andrew writes with intrigue, pulling the reader along bit by bit. Although he does relay on some commen scenes used over and over in Sc-Fi he dresses them well. At other points he introduces whole new concepts into my experience with Sc-Fi. He keeps the reader engaged.
Andrew does a great job rounding out his main characters early and fully. Only one charater remained semi-flat to me, but I am sure in book 2 she too will be fleshed out more. I identify quickly with Danny, having shared commen elements from my childhood. So becoming a part of the story is easy for the reader. He also does a good job with putting the reader in the scene, describing it so richly that I could feel myself in the places described in the account.
The plot is good, it's an adventure story that really keeps moving from point to point. It's not difficult to understand the plot and see its movement, I only noted one plot dry/flat area, but every book has them and Andrew did not spend a lot of time there. The plot is coming-of-age, a boy wanting his father's acceptance and love, but...can't say, would be a spoiler. It is wrapped up in a Sc-Fi adventure story. As Danny faces his worst coming-of-age fears he encounters challenges along the way that he must overcome to reach his greatest goal. His focus is uni-directional, fixed his relationship with his father, yet life gets in the way. How Danny deals with these challenges is how many boys face life on multi-levels. Andrew did a great job with the coming-of-age story point.
The Good of the Story:
The book is a coming-of-age story that deals with many current issues. Bullies, parental love, acceptance, trust, and individually. Andrew did a good job bringing them to the fore. However I wish he had finished dealing with the school bully in this book. Many young boys and girls will enjoy these issues as they are presented.
The Other Things:
As I mentioned, keep the target audience in mind, more so if you understand astrophysics and other areas of physics. There were only 2 scientific issues, but I feel 99% of readers will never catch them so not wroth bringing to the fore. There were no plot errors or altered character issues, Andrew stayed true to continuity of both. I asked him about two I thought I had discovered, but he reminded me in both that it was two different boys/kids thinking like kids. So they were intended.
A cliff hanger to book 2. I had wished Andrew had closure in book 1. Had he tied it up better he could have still dragged readers to book 2. As he ended it, a reader MUST read book 2. So the ending is not subtle but sharp.
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DeWayne Watts: I started out writing short stories and poetry. Some of which was published in the 1980's. I have parts of 5 novels written and have completed 2 novels. I have been married over 25 years and raised 2 wonderful sons who have been a great addition to the human family.
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The 3 Novels/Books Written By DeWayne Watts
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"The Boy in The Wood"
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