I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fellside by M.R. Carey
Published by Orbit on April 5th 2016
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Also by this author: The Girl With All the Gifts, The Boy on the Bridge
The highly anticipated new thriller from the acclaimed author of The Girl With All the Gifts.
Jess Moulson is convicted of murder. But it's a murder she can't remember committing.
Nothing is quite clear from the drug-fuelled night when a blaze set in her apartment killed the little boy upstairs. But when the media brands Jess a child killer, she starts to believe it herself.
Now she's on her way to Fellside, the biggest, most formidable women's prison in Europe, standing in the bleak Yorkshire moors.
But Jess won't be alone in her prison cell. Lurking in the shadows is an unexpected visitor... the ghost of the ten-year-old boy she killed. He says he needs her help - and he won't take no for an answer.
FELLSIDE is a powerful, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching new standalone novel by M. R. Carey.
Jess Moulson has been sentenced to prison after being convicted of setting a fire that not only left her face destroyed and her boyfriend injured but unintentionally killed a young boy named Alex. The problem is, she doesn’t remember setting the fire, but she quickly begins to believe herself capable what with all the evidence stacked against her. Resigned to her fate she beings her life in Fellside, a prison deep in the moors of Yorkshire, knowing she won’t have to suffer for long after she begins refusing food. As her body and mind weaken more and more each day, she’s visited by the ghost of Alex, and he proposes that she work to discover who truly killed him so that they can both be at peace.
Honestly, I don’t remember even reading the synopsis of this before falling all over myself in excitement. I simply adored The Girl with All the Gifts and maybe that’s where I went wrong. My expectations were astronomical. Regardless, there’s nothing in the synopsis that would have normally turned me away from reading the book but ultimately this one fell flatter than a pancake for me.
Yep, I’m definitely part of the black sheep crowd with this one. I’m pretty broken-hearted about it though because this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. The majority of my complaints are spoilers so I’ll do my best to explain without revealing too much.
There are not only a ton of characters and scenes told from various points-of-view but somehow they all managed to be completely lackluster. Jess Moulson is not a likable character having been convicted of killing a child, however, that’s never been an issue for me since I liked Lolita and even Tampa. There just wasn’t anything about these people that captivated me or even interested me in the least. The storyline started off slightly interesting with the mystery of the fire but that quickly dissolved into prison drama with a “bad” warden that’s helping bring drugs into the prison and all the threatening of inmates to be the drug mules. There was the prison doctor that had a sad personal story that wasn’t explored very much that did nothing in the pity part of my heart, the nurse with her questionable yet excessive anger towards Jess for the crime she was convicted for, and the various stories of other inmates and the lives they’ve led and the losses they’ve suffered. There was a really strange side story about Jess’ lawyer too that I felt was pretty ludicrous to say the least. AND THEN, enter the ghostie to really complicate shit further.
You’d think adding a flair of paranormal to a story would help it but it ended up just being strangely bizarre and by the end it left more questions than answers. This book was a whopping 496 pages but it still shouldn’t have taken me over a month to finish. It’s one of those really slow-going stories where you feel that pressure slowly building in the background and you’re waiting for that big reveal that’s going to take your breath away. That eagerness to find out the truth of it all was the only thing that kept me going. Sadly, by the time the “secrets” are all revealed I couldn’t help but feel equal parts