Friday, 8 August 2014

Wickedpedia - Chris Van Etten

(Note: Kindle edition cover differs)
Published: June 24th 2014, Scholastic
Pages: 224 pages, Kindle
Standalone/Series: Standalone

Summary (from Goodreads): It's the return of Point Horror for the Internet generation! Don't open the door. Don't answer your phone. And whatever you do, DON'T turn on your computer. . . .

Cole and Gavin love playing practical jokes through Wikipedia. They edit key articles and watch their classmates crash and burn giving oral reports on historical figures like Genghis Khan, the first female astronaut on Jupiter. So after the star soccer player steals Cole's girlfriend, the boys take their revenge by creating a Wikipedia page for him, an entry full of outlandish information including details about his bizarre death on the soccer field.

It's all in good fun, until the soccer player is killed in a freak accident . . . just as Cole and Gavin predicted. The uneasy boys vow to leave Wikipedia alone but someone continues to edit articles about classmates dying in gruesome ways . . . and those entries start to come true as well.

To his horror, Cole soon discovers that someone has created a Wikipedia page for him, and included a date of death. He has one week to figure out who's behind the murders, or else he's set to meet a pretty grisly end.

My review: I'm a huge horror fan, as any regular readers of Writing from the Tub will know. I'm always looking for the latest YA horror release and I've often loudly wished for the day when YA horror rises to the forefront of publishing wishlists and finally has its moment. As such, I was pretty darned excited when I stumbled across Wickedpedia on Goodreads earlier in the year - I thought it sounded like a great premise and I was a huge fan of the Point Horror books in my teenage years. So, when Wickedpedia's release day rolled around I was excited to download it to my iPad and dig in.

Unfortunately, that's where the excitement ended.

I wanted to love Wickedpedia, I really did. I wanted to be drawn in by the characters and engrossed by the story. I wanted to text my friends and tell them to read this book for pure nostalgic pleasure... Sadly, I really, really didn't love Wickedpedia.

The narrative was clunky and awkward and the entire thing could really have done with a lot more editing - it felt like I was reading a novel in the early stages of drafting rather than a finished product that was actually out on bookshelves. Cole and Gavin fell flat for me and I certainly didn't find myself rooting for Cole, who was incessantly moany about his break up with Winnie, or Gavin, who I think was supposed to be witty but just came off as bitchy.

The death scenes were gory and were probably the best written part of the book, to be honest. They did remind me of the old school Point Horror novels so, bravo for the gore because it did hit the mark.

The mystery surrounding the 'Wickedpedia' element of the story was, it just didn't work. At all. By the time the 'big reveal' happened I genuinely didn't care any more and the killer was such a weird curveball that it didn't even surprise me. It wasn't a sophisticated mystery, it just felt like a random character was picked to be the killer and didn't feel like the natural progression of the story.

Unfortunately, Wickedpedia didn't deliver and I'm really disappointed because I wanted to be scared stiff; the scares just didn't come.

1 comment:

  1. Aww no - that's a shame. I was all set to go out and get this one after the synopsis but I think I'll give it a miss now. Great review though :)


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