I won’t lie: The Marbury Lens, by Andrew Smith, is one of those books I had on my to-read list for a long time before I read it. I don’t even know why it took me so long; every time I saw the book, my desire to read it was renewed. I just never seemed to get to it, for some reason.
That changed recently. I was looking for something a little bit dark, a little bit literary, and a little bit fantasy. The Marbury Lens fit that perfectly.
True, that can be a bit of an odd combination, but it works for this book. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s your chance to check it out for yourself–I’m giving away a copy of the book. You can hop on over to my rafflecopter giveaway* now, if you like. Entering is as simple as clicking a few buttons.
Now, are you ready to learn a bit more about The Marbury Lens?
After narrowly escaping a kidnapping, sixteen-year-old Jack dives head-first into his plans to spend the summer in London. He barely steps foot in the city, however, before a stranger hands him a pair of goggles that allow him to see into another world: Marbury. A world at war, Marbury is desolate and violent–and Jack isn’t entirely sure it’s real. It could be that the goggles are showing him a world different from his own, or he may just be losing his mind.
It’s that “not entirely sure” concept that had me hooked. Are the goggles taking Jack into a new world? Or is he experiencing a form of PTSD, an aftereffect of his recent kidnapping? In the early parts of the novel, Smith certainly provides evidence of both scenarios, and it’s not until later that we start to become more sure of one answer over the other.
I’ll admit, those first couple of chapters can be a little bit confusing, but that’s part of the appeal. That was the case for me, at least. The confusion had me asking questions, and it made me want to keep reading so that I could get the answers.
*Please note that this giveaway has now closed.
Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.
There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.
Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.
Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.
But it’s not.
Andrew Smith has written his most beautiful and personal novel yet, as he explores the nightmarish outer limits of what trauma can do to our bodies and our minds.