Blood Tithe (Blood Tithe #1)
By Glenn J. Soucy
2 out of 5
At age five, Jeremy is playing with his friend in the woods, outside of a military base in Maine. He falls through an old World War II tunnel, which is half flooded with both water and chemicals from long forgotten scientific experiments. Jeremy is rescued, but his body is forever altered. Soon he discovers that he can gather energy from living things. But his new abilities come with a price...
Jeremy is your average five year old child, until a freak accident that should have killed him, gives him certain powers.
The young boy has to face the fear and distrust of his family, as well as the threat of his nightmares becoming real.
On paper this is just my type of thing and I really wanted to like this book, if not love it. But this is one of those awkward moments when the author is a lovely chap, and I can't offer him a better review.
Don't get me wrong, the writing is very strong, and I can understand why so many have rated it highly. It flows well and would appease the grammar nazis.
But truthfully I couldn't finish it. Oh I tried, I kept coming back to it over the last few weeks, but couldn't get further than half-way.
My main problem was with Jeremy being 5 years old. Soucy has written this in the first person, and it just does not work. Jeremy only felt like a 5 year old in flashes - sure, his actions felt true to his age; but his thoughts were far too mature. What five year old takes note of so much detail? Or describes being out of breath as "having run a marathon"? The book is not a short one, and Jeremy's young/old voice irritated the hell out of me from the first.
It would have worked twice as well if it had been third-party. Or even better if Jeremy had been ten years old, or a teenager. I guess him being a 5 year old gives the story a unique pitch amongst the masses of books with a young hero, but many times throughout the book I was wondering if there was any real reason Jeremy was cast so young. Especially when there are suddenly 6 month lapses, 2 year lapses, and suddenly he's a teenager and the story kicks in again. What's the friggin' rush for him to grow up, if Soucy wanted him so young in the first place?!
My second problem was Jeremy's family.
The dad is fine, he's the military man who has to spend time away, but is the caring and understanding party.
The sister is invisible, a name without any real character until they move Spring Lake and she suddenly becomes the centre of the plot.
But the mum... what mother would be scared of their baby boy? How could any mother keep her distance when her son starts doing weird things, rather than tear the world apart to find an answer?
I will confess, I got a little confused over the era this was set in at first; I thought it was set in the 1950's, with how shut down the mum was. I was a little surprised to find out it was modern - there's this little thing called the internet, easy access to information, whether it's right or wrong. Did none of his family think to research Jeremy's condition? Did Jeremy not think to look up why he was suddenly able to do stuff? Or to research the dodgy Doc?
Right, enough, rant over.
Strangely, in conclusion I would actually read the next in the series, because Soucy's writing is good, and the two glaring problems I have are eradicated in book one.