SpineOut : October 2014
Daanyal, Age 15, Berwick Grammar School, Melbourne Vic The Army of the Lost Lily Herne The Army of the Lost, by Lily Herne, is the third book in the 'Mall Rats' trilogy, and in all honesty, it came off difficult for me. I’ll admit that I haven’t read the previous two books, nor have I read Lily Herne before. From all accounts, this book is a departure from the previous novels in the series, and that could be potentially part of the reason why I lacked the ability to get on with it as well as I anticipated. The language in this book, I think, came across a little simplistic, more so than the disillusioning cover which gives off the impression of a dark, zombie thriller. Don’t get me wrong, it does, in a sense, involve everything I love in a book; twisted political minds, a dystopian society ravaged by the walking dead; the language simply feeling like a barrier to diving in headfirst and being immersed in this world. But its ensemble nature, with each character’s plights in the post-apocalyptic world of Sandtown, makes it simply not enjoyable, personally. However, for fans of the series especially, this could really be a relaxing change of scenery. Often I need a re-read to truly appreciate some books, and that may very well be the case here . However, its drawn out plot (partly thanks to the new setting; again though, I lack understanding of the world having not read the previous books) made it rather difficult to get on with, especially given that I was expecting a faster paced thriller, as zombie tales generally are. Naturally, with any series that is as popular as the 'Mall Rats' series, The Army of the Lost will have its fanatics, and I think that the book could be a refreshing change of pace for someone well-versed in the series. For me, though, it’s not something to remember, and it wouldn’t draw me into reading the others, nor the fourth that is scheduled to be released soon. Rating: Meh 2014 sees the publication of Lockwood & Co Book II: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud. Read it! Write it! Watch it! Don’t miss!