Book Review: The Newstead Project

This past month I read three books: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman; 77 Shadow Street, by Dean Koontz (which only served to remind me of why I don't read Koontz anymore); and The Newstead Project by Melanie Shulz.

Lucky Melanie gets to be the one I review this month.


I'll just get the blurb from amazon here: "The Newstead Trilogy is an epic battle of good vs. evil. This time, evil has a plan; it's called Newstead, a school hidden deep in rural Vermont. There you'll find the six hundred or so genetic mutations they've created to inflict upon the world. But good has a plan, too; and Newstead has just admitted him. Plan Well. Plan Wisely."

Review time:

The good:
Ok, at first I was wary of reading this because it is firmly in the YA Paranormal, supernatural hero in love with human female genre that I really just don't get. But, I made myself start reading it, and then I found it hard to put it down. First thing you should know is that the blurb is so incredibly vague that you really don't know what you're getting in to. The 'genetic mutations' are Nephilim who are being groomed for a war between Good and Evil, and let me tell you, they are some creepy 'bleepity-bleeps'. The plot is engaging, and keeps you moving forward, and I really wanted to know how the story ended. It's well written, the atmosphere that Shulz creates at the Newstead school is great, and the character growth, particularly with the male lead, was very well done. If you're a fan of this particular type of story, you'll probably enjoy it even more than I did.

The bad:
My main quibble with The Newstead Project is it's structure. There are two points of view, Joel and Rachel, and while each has their own adventures, there are times when they overlap. For instance one chapter will show an event in Rachel's POV, and then the next chapter will be the same event in Joel's POV. It seems redundant to me, and it took a ridiculously long time for me to get over the - I want to call it a quirk, but I'm sure there is a more literary term for it. Once I finally accepted that it was going to happen every few chapters, I was able to enjoy the novel more.

Verdict:
I did enjoy reading the Newstead Project, but the redundancies in the narrative really irked me. I'm giving it a 4 out of 5 pineapples, based off of the enjoyability, (that is too a word!),but it could have been a perfect score if it weren't for those duplicated scenes.

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