Vitality – mini review

Title/Author: Vitality by Tim Andrewartha

Genre: Scifi

Published: 2011, Dam Good Publishing

Format: Kindle

Back Jacket Blurb: ONE DROP AND NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME AGAIN

Set in an alternative version of the present day, Stylo Green moves to a nameless city to work for Vitality. The company is making a purple soft drink which they promise will change people’s lives – a welcome gesture in a place where society is spiralling down towards its demise. The New Movement Party hope to win the next election and clean up the city. Real food is banned so everyone eats plastic-tasting Easy Food except the few who dare to eat illegal fruit and vegetables available on the black market. Dr. Mooseball produces recreational narcotics which are legal and a popular way to relax while Soft Dreams employs people to suck up the ghosts that float around the city. Emulla, the girl with the beautiful voice, is different from the others. She and Stylo hit it off, and Stylo’s packaging designs are chosen. Things seem to be going well for him, but he begins to notice something peculiar about his colleagues. The truth starts to unravel but not without bloodshed. When he finally faces his nemesis, nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover First Line:  “An alternative frequency of dysfunctional communication murmured” from the sort of prologue paragraph prior to chapter 1. I’m not crazy about this line – something about a frequency murmuring that doesn’t ring true for me. THe first line of Chapter 1 is ” “What’s that smell?” asked Stylo, detecting a mixture of mouldy air, old socks and cheap toothpaste.” Perhaps not the most enticing opening, but it certainly sets us up for the scene to follow, which is in a less than salubrious apartment. What I liked About the First Chapter:

The description. The author does a very good job of describing a decrepit city its haggard inhabitants like the bar tender with a face like a “demented prune” or this line “Bent teeth stuck out menacingly as a smile, the shape of a piece of watermelon, stretched his cheeks.” This type of description immediately establishes the voice of the POV character Stylo and tells us a lot about the type of world in which the story is set.

What I Didn’t Like:

The lack of details. The chapter ends rather abruptly and I’m left wondering what just happened, a little confused. I would’ve liked a clearer location. I’m not sure after reading the first chapter whether I’m in a China Town or in a Chinese town.

Given this first chapter, and the enticing blurb, I’m definitely tempted to read on, to find out more about Stylo, and how this world works. I really want to know more about the ghosts…

Since this is just a mini review of the first chapter I won’t give it a star rating, but I’d definitely recommend this book to those who like dystopian tales mixed with a touch of the paranormal.

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  • I agree that the blurb sounds like an interesting premise for a novel, but that first line grates. Could the story work without a prologue? The first line of chapter 1 seems a better start. I hope the rest of the book works out because, as I said, it sounds like an interesting idea.

    • I’m not sure, having not read the entire book. I’m not sure I really like prologues at all to be honest.