Sunday, May 14, 2017

Burntown by Jennifer McMahon

Author: Jennifer McMahon
Publisher: Doubleday
Date of publication: April 2017

Eva grew up watching her father, Miles, invent strange and wonderful things in the small workshop behind their house on the river that runs through their old mill town. But the most important invention of all was the one that Miles claimed came from the mind of Thomas Edison himself--a machine that allowed one to speak with loved ones long passed. Smuggled out of Edison's laboratory, the blueprints were passed down to Miles, and he's been using them to protect Eva, her mother, Lily, and her brother, Errol, ever since.

Then, one night when a storm is raging and the river is threatening to flood, the machine whirrs to life on its own. Danger, it says. You're in terrible danger. The next thing Eva knows is waking up on the side of the river and seeing her mother's grim face. Eva's father and brother are dead, their house has been washed away and an evil man is searching for them both. They need to hide.

Eva changes her name to Necco--a candy she always loved--and tries to put everything in her past behind her as she adapts to her new life off the grid. But when her boyfriend is murdered and her mother disappears, she knows that the past is starting to catch up to her.

For the most part, I enjoyed Burntown.  It definitely didn't turn out to be what I was expecting.  The book is split into two parts, before and after the great flood.  The story mostly centers around Necco/Eva and her time after the flood.  Someone is out to kill her and her family but she can't remember anything that happened the night her whole world fell apart.

As I said, I did like this book, I just didn't love it.  I was expecting more of a supernatural/mystical story. Instead I pretty much got a straight up mystery with some possible mysticism.  It's hard to call it mysticism really, when the people having visions are essentially snorting some type of drug.  At any rate, I'm not going to give away the plot.  There are a couple of twists toward the end that I definitely didn't see coming.   I was disappointed that the machine mentioned in the synopsis didn't really play much part in the book.   This isn't a fast paced book but it is worth stocking with to the conclusion.

No comments: