Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fragment by Warren Fahy

Cannonball Read 2011 #5
384 pages

I should have turned away when I first read the horrible reviews for this book. But it says it's like Jurassic Park and I love Jurassic, movie, anything. The only thing Fragment has in common with Jurassic park is that people get eaten on an island. Sounds cool, but you had to wade though a bunch of boring, useless crap to get to the good stuff.

The basic plot centers around a very remote island that has been left to evolve on it's own for millions of years, resulting in some very strange creatures. Every creature on this island is incredibly violent, except for one, which I won't spoil for you. It's maybe the most interesting part of the book. A group of scientists and crew members for a reality show are sailing around the world when they hear a distress signal from the island. They go to check it out and well, lots of people die.

First of all, I don't know if the author was getting paid for every time he dropped the name of a label or what, but he uses brand names for EVERYTHING. We're talking excruciating detail about all thirty characters (or however many...there were way too many) were wearing every time we went back to them. It reminded me of The Baby-Sitters Club books when they would take up a whole chapter describing their outfits.

Also, these strange creatures found on the island were extremely hard to picture because the descriptions were almost over detailed. They were also inconsistent. For instance, there was one recurring animal that was sometimes described as a giant tiger with spider eyes/legs and other times as a giant spider with tiger stripes/fur. I had no idea what to picture for this thing.

I also don't get why they used the reality show idea. It didn't work and just added more characters that they didn't need. Between the camera crew, the scientists, then later on the military, there were too many characters to even care about any of them, so it wasn't even a big deal when most of them died. I knew more about what the characters were wearing than their back story or personality. They actually had a character named Ham Pound. They probably ran out of names.

Fragment wasn't anywhere close to a "good" book, but it was a pretty quick read. The the second half was much better than the first with much more action and even some suspense at times. The rest was just mindless carnage of characters that I didn't give a damn about.

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