08 January 2009

Book Banter -- Obedience

Title: Obedience
Author: Will Lavender
Length: 287 pages
Genre: literary fiction/mystery
Plot Basics: The students in Logic and Reasoning 204 at Winchester College have six weeks to solve the greatest puzzle of their lives -- find a missing girl named Polly, or she will be killed. Three students -- Mary, Brian and Dennis -- take the problem especially personally, particularly after they each have run-ins with suspects associated with Polly's story. It sets them on a dangerous path of wondering what is true, what are the lies being spun to them by their professor and how long they should be obedient to their class assignment.
Banter Points: Word Nerd picked up this title because the fictitious Winchester College is in a small town in Indiana and she thought it would be cool to read some Indiana-related fiction. The plot itself is great, with lots of twists and turns, but...
Bummer Points: ...it's execution leaves a lot to be desired. The characters of Mary, Brian and Dennis are fairly flat and hard to care about, as is the alleged victim, Polly. Additionally, if you have any background whatsoever in psychology (even a good recollection of a Psych 101-type class), you'll likely start to put together some of the clues and figure out at least a piece of what's going on. Word Nerd didn't exactly unravel the whole plot twist, but when the reveal came, she wasn't all that surprised.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Word Nerd was really hoping, based on the jacket cover, that this could be a top 10 book of 2009. As it is, she's recommending to skip it.

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