Friday, March 1, 2013

REVIEW: The Mariner by Ade Grant


The Mariner is lost at sea – has forgotten everything about his life before waking up on the Neptune, an old ship that was used to transport slaves – with nothing for company but some devils, foul thoughts and self reflections; they are his own, but are horribly confusing to him, as he can’t remember where they come from or why he has them (or why they make him feel the way he does). Lust plagues his entire being and, disgusted, he fights to control his urges. He comes upon many people and places – all a part of this new, Shattered world – that, while not quite as lost as he is, face the extremely difficult task of piecing together what’s happening around them; through religion, philosophy, science, and superstition, they all have their own understanding of what’s happened to the world and how to get it back to the way it was. We follow the Mariner on his – sometimes monstrous, sometimes heroic, sometimes disgusting – journey to discover the truth.

I haven’t felt so many wonderfully conflicting emotions while reading a book in a long time. This story is the wildest of rides – fast paced, energetic, unafraid, relentless, exhilarating, disturbing, and smart. I absolutely loved it. The plot was magnificent and revealed its points in such a way that was always exciting, always changing, always moving forward into some new territory. There are so many interesting ideas thrown into it that not only kept me entertained, but intellectually interested in what was being said. The language flowed beautifully; never overly flashy or showy though never simplistic or shallow, it doesn’t call attention to itself but adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the storytelling.

While reading, I truly believed in this world the author has created. I believed in all of the characters. Every single person in The Mariner had depth; their actions were authentic, and the things they said were real and convincing. Each one stood out from the others. There were times when characters would do something – something that I knew they were capable of doing – that would literally infuriate me. Or make me love them, or care for them, or despise them, or pity them, or empathize with them. I genuinely felt things for each and every character and I was fully immersed and invested into who they were as people, and where they were going.

There is a lot more that I could say about this book. I was so completely disturbed at times, and at others times I was disgusted. At times I hated the Mariner character – wanted to end his wretched life myself – and at times I empathized with him greatly, wanted to protect him. It was a very difficult book to read at times, though the story was so engrossing I couldn’t stop. And when the end came around – though still some things were left deliberately without answers – I was completely fulfilled and left the story, in my opinion, a better person than when I started.

The Mariner will undoubtedly force your morals into submission but – if you’re able to ride it out – will reward you for your courage tenfold. It is definitely not for everyone, but is very much worth it if you give it a chance. It is a story of the search for truth and oneself; a story of broken philosophies, of sexuality, of life, of death, of knowledge, of love and hate, and of collective consciousness. Honestly, The Mariner is one of my new favorite books, and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more from this author in the future.

The Mariner is available at Amazon for $0.99 (and it's worth much more than that in my opinion).

***This review can also be found on Goodreads and Amazon.


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