Lyric the Unknown
By Jim Maher
Remember what a drain it was to sit down and practice your instrument for school? Well, Lyric does. Practicing her violin is a waste…until the world suddenly decides to roll over and come to an end on her. The only thing she has left now is her violin and everything that looks at her like a strange, unknown creature.
To start out, this book is written beautifully for its audience. Though the beginning seems weighed down by more similes than I’d like, soon it abandons this when by Chapter Four, the world ends. From this point on, we get a straightforward, but unique perspective of the world through Lyric’s strong and playful eyes. For example:
‘None of those amounted to a splat of pudding on the kitchen floor compared to number three.’
And this is where the story glows. Lyric is a sarcastic but cheerful character. Anyone else in her shoes would’ve crumbled after having lost their family and found themselves in a different world, but not Lyric.
In this way, you are sucked in and want to find out what is happening and how the world came to be in this new way. While reading, we are slowly filled in, seeing the new jobs and rigid structure this world was forced to create in order to survive, but the author keeps everything light. It never dabbles too long into the darker matters. I’ve heard some say this is a ‘dark book,’ but I don’t see it. Lyric keeps it light.
As for problems, one major itch that bothered me were the incessant need for characters to use each other’s names. Many times the two characters speaking are the only two in the room. Why they bother to call out their names is beyond on me. Even in the beginning, this is a problem.
Another problem the author might want to address is how the mother’s name turns out to be ‘Ma Bell.’ With the author being Canadian and all, you would think he’d be aware of the culture significance of ‘Ma Bell’ in relation to the nickname for the telephone monopoly held by The Bell Company and AT&T throughout the States and Canada. In this way, North Americans get a different feel for this kind-hearted matriarch. Then again, maybe it’s a tongue and cheek joke. Frankly, I’m not sure.
The last complaint is a simple one. The story ends too quickly…and abruptly. Though a book two is imminent, I really wished the ending had a more ‘finished’ feeling to it. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a cliffhanger, I just wanted a little more finality to it.
This is an awesome read! Lyric, herself, is unbelievably loveable and real. On top of this, the writer keeps things light—despite a possibly dark topic—and so interesting that you will want to jump ahead. I often had to hold myself back from skimming to see what would happen next. Though I felt the book’s ending was sudden, in no way does this ruin the book as a fun, quick read. It will grab your attention fast.
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