Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Clique

The Clique

by Jay Mason

1 out of 5

Alex is contacted by the enigmatic c0nundrum, who hires her to investigate a strange energy he senses emanating from her college. Her research leads her to a clique of popular girls, who are dabbling with ancient mystical forces deep underground in a forgotten mine. She races to stop them before an old evil is released ...

The Series:

Alexandra Morgan, known as Alex, is a 19-year-old college student and the daughter of two prize-winning scientists. What no one knows is that in her free time Alex is a paranormal investigator who takes on a variety of mysterious cases. Together with her best friend Rusty and an online associate known only as c0nundrum, she unravels a conspiracy that will put her own life and that of her family in danger ...

Alex is investigating the paranormal, but doesn't suspect there is a major source of trouble in her own school.

I received a free copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

So, this is the first book by Mason, and it does have the feeling of a debut - good intentions, but rough.

The idea behind it is quite good, that Alex is a Paranormal Investigator, but keeps it secret. She works in complete anonymity, and uses her sixth sense and high intelligence to solve mysteries.
Or at least, that's how it's supposed to go.
 It's all really quite vague, and I found it hard to follow.

From the start, it drops you into the middle of Alex's musings as a PI and her conversations with the mysterious 'c0nundrum'. There were no explanations of how or why, and the way it was written made me feel like I was jumping in mid-series - I had to double-check this was definitely the first book.

After that, the book settles, and tells of Alex being at school, and constantly dumbing herself down, so people don't realise she's as intelligent as her sciency-genius parents. Why she has to be thick, isn't really explained very well - her friend Rusty is doing the same, but he has good reasons. He doesn't want to be pressured into moving away to a good college, so he can stay and care for his mum and investigate his father's disappearance. Alex's reason is... something vague.

There's a lot of Rusty, he's the friend/love interest. The intelligent, attractive, gentle guy that shuns the eye-batting cheerleaders for outsider Alex.
He is kinda sweet, as he interacts with Alex, his mum and sister. He seems really honest, and caring, and is endearing - for the most part.
There's just a couple of things about him that make him a dick.
First, and most obviously - HE HAS A GIRLFRIEND. Bethany, a cheerleader (who actually seemed quite nice, and didn't need this douche). Except, Rusty keeps brushing her off, and saying that they're friends - yet he's clearly happy to keep shagging her, and plays the doting boyfriend when she gets ill (cheating scumbag).

Secondly, Alex tells him in complete confidence that she is a PI, making him the only person in the world that knows; whilst also making it clear she doesn't get in with the cheerleading clique.
Rusty's very next move is to tell his girlfriend-not-girlfriend Bethany, without checking with Alex first. But yeah, he's cute, let's forgive him...

The story then takes a really weird turn, and it's very hard to follow, as suddenly there are visions and dreams and memories and reality and new reality, and we're supposed to know which is which.

The main characters are supposed to be in college, but they come off as high-schoolers. Alex, in particular, feels very immature. She's supposed to be 19 yrs old but behaves like a kid, living at home with parents, whining and crushing, (I remember when I was 19, I moved to a different country, to teach and run a yard).

The paranormal side of things isn't very paranormal. There are a couple of incidences, and it's hovering in the background, but it's absent for 90% of the book.

Overall, there were some nice ideas, but needed more work.


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