Reviews: Cometh the Hour, The Haters
Cometh the Hour
It's marketed as the 'penultimate book' in the Clifton Chronicles saga, which brings some relief to what has been a very long series of seven novels by Jeffrey Archer.
Having been a loyal fan since reading Kane and Abel as a 10 year old, I won't hear a bad word about the author, but even I've found the Clifton Chronicles starting to drag and with each book wondering, is it the end yet?
The series is based around the family of Emma and Harry Clifton, whom we meet as children, with each passing book bringing another round of love lost and/or found, court battles, villainous acts and elections.
It's classic Archer and it doesn't disappoint. If you love his writing, then you'll find the Clifton Chronicles worth getting out from the library (at $50 per hardback it's a big investment to buy the series).
Archer's skill is knowing how to introduce his characters quickly; you fast become invested in their journey. His characters across all his books share common qualities, so there's a familiarity in them that makes for a comfortable read.
For lifelong Archer fans, the series will satiate your Archer hunger. But if you need to start at the beginning, book six really is only a seventh of the story. Emma Jones
Allen & Unwin, $23
Don't judge this witty coming-of-age novel by its title.
Two woebegone music geeks, Wes (bass) and Corey (drums), find their love for their favourite musicians soon turns to loathing. "We're expert well-poisoners," sighs Wes, who provides a wryly funny account of what happens to their "doggy, brotherly bond" when the well-heeled and volatile Ash (guitar) sweeps into their lives.
Ash liberates the gawky sidekicks from a boring jazz camp and takes them on an amazing road trip from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. They battle to agree on a name or a musical style – "We're a blues roots punk power trio," says Corey, hopefully – or even to find a venue. The Haters' first venue is a restaurant which Wes compares to "a Chinese prison cafeteria."
Jesse Andrews is a great writer for older teens as well as adults. All the characters, scumbags included, are interesting.
Even God has a walk-on part, calling the runaways "MY CHOSEN BAND." Trevor Agnew