Thursday, December 07, 2017

Review: Jesus Kid by Kayleigh Sky

jesus kidTitle ~ Jesus Kid

Author ~ Kayleigh Sky

Publisher ~ Kiss Drunk Books

Published ~ 6th December 2017

Genre ~ Science Fiction, M/M Romance





Thirty years ago, an asteroid stuck the Earth. Now killer plants hunt the last surviving humans.

Ori Scott is a young junkie running from his mother’s prophecy that he’d one day save the world from the killer plants. Her preaching made him a laughingstock and now he hides in his drugs. But he can’t hide the change in his veins. They are turning green, and the prophecy is dragging him into a dark struggle between invisible forces. Set up on bogus drug charges, Ori is taken to a secret facility where he becomes a test subject in experiments to discover an antidote to the alien plant’s sting.

Jack Doll is a cop with a vendetta against the plants that killed his best friend. All he has in the world now is his old friend’s lover, Rive. Together they form an unbreakable bond—or so he thought. Jack has never liked Rive’s friend, Ori, but he believes in Ori’s innocence and doesn’t understand Rive’s strange indifference to Ori’s conviction. Struggling with his suspicions, Jack can’t help digging into a mystery that draws him closer to Ori than ever before—and closer to somebody who has secrets to hide.

Alone and scared, Ori is grateful for Jack Doll’s friendship, and his longtime crush soon blossoms into love. But Ori has no plans to accept his fate. He wants to escape, and he doesn’t care if he takes the cure with him.


Cheryl’s Review

I’m sorry, but I must start by saying I didn’t like this book. Sorry, because it really is a good book, but the style didn’t gel with me personally. If I was giving stars on my own personal preference it would be a 3 or 3.5. However, I can recognize the good qualities and am certain it will appeal to a lot of people.

The story follows a motley crew of characters who are muddling along in the aftermath of a star hitting the earth and infecting it with deadly plant life. Nicknamed Booweed, the plants shoot up out of the ground with no warning and instil terror with their deadly stingers. No one survives. Well one person survived, a pregnant woman who gives birth to a child she names Ori.

For over twenty years Ori grows up with the nickname Jesus Kid because his mother swears he has the power to save the world from the Booweed. Ori doesn’t believe it and neither does anyone else…until someone does. They want his blood and they’re prepared to go to any lengths to get it. Set up, sentenced to execution (commuted if he complies with the experimentation program) and locked away in a facility where he’s slowly dying, Ori doesn’t have much hope.

Thankfully, his friends hold on to the hope for him and he’s eventually sprung, but is that really such a good thing when the only alternative to the city is a whole world filled with deadly plants and, apparently, no people? Only there were people. Some helped, some didn’t and every situation only confuses Ori more.

The apocalyptic scenario of a star hitting earth, everyone ending up in a city ruled by a tyrannical government isn’t new. However, there are some lovely, fresh twists. The Booweed is my favourite. They made me think of “Little Shop of Horrors” although these plants do not, as far as I know, eat people. They just sting them. As a keen herbalist, I particularly liked that there were other “star flowers” too, and as Ori has a strange affinity with plants, I got to “see” some of them, which was a nice touch.

Ori and Jack are an interesting couple. Ori is a scrawny, grubby addict with a loud mouth and a tendency to want to sleep with everyone. Jack is a big, rough, tough cop who’s been trying for years to convince himself he doesn’t like Ori. As far as I know Jack isn’t big on sex at all – until Ori. It was amusing to see them dancing around each other, and getting glimpses of what was going on inside their heads was entertaining.

There are many threads to this story, and sometimes they got confusing. This is not a light read. It requires brainpower to follow the story in all its twists and turns. There are shocks, surprises and parts where I had no idea what’s going on.

They style of the writing is technically very good, but unfortunately it leaves me cold. My son has just done his GCSE’s and he studied John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”. To me, this style is reminiscent of Steinbeck’s, which is no bad thing. I didn’t like “Of Mice and Men” either. I think the key is that it keeps the reader at a distance – at least it did with me. Despite the inner thoughts I don’t feel I know any of the characters very well, and I didn’t develop a deep connection with any of them. The thoughts were shallow and confusing, which led me to look on the characters as shallow, with no emotional depth.

Bad things happened and although we got to see some of the ways the characters reacted nothing was done in any great depth. I don’t feel as if I know what or how any of the characters really feel about what happened to them and others. It’s a story being told, not lived.

That being said, the story is enthralling and told very well. The characters are well drawn an each have their own distinctive voice. The MC’s are supported by a rich and diverse supporting cast and I can really see this up on the big screen. The brush strokes are broad and the world-building is exceptional. To be honest I could “see” the world better than the people who live in it.

One of the book’s greatest strengths is that it’s “real”. Nothing happens that I had to say “no way”. It’s all logical, well thought through and entirely possible in a chilling “that could happen” way. As the book develops we’re drawn deeper and deeper into Jack and Ori’s world, even when that world shifts and changes when lies are uncovered and discoveries made.

This was definitely a thrilling ride. There is plenty to keep you on the edge of your seat and for the right person this could be a breathless page-turner. I think I would like it much better on Netflix or in the cinema and in a way I think it would read better as a screenplay. The action goes on outside, so to speak.

In conclusion, although I didn’t like the style of storytelling I cannot deny that this was a well written, exciting and complex book and I’m sure it will be well received and will have a strong following of die-hard fans, as it should be.

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