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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review: Fragment by Warren Fahy

A long-range research ship called the Trident is filming a reality show called Sealife in the debut novel, Fragment by Warren Fahy. The show’s cast includes bright young scientists and is directed for a woman searching for the right drama to re-energize her career. The ship is drawn to a tiny island, Henders Island, so far from any human contact that it only appears in one small notation in a ships log from 1791. This island isn’t a mutant anomaly, or a lost world frozen in time, or a modern day version of The Island of Dr. Moreau. Instead, it is a place unlike anything anyone in the world has ever seen; a place that has evolved over countless eons, on a completely different path than the rest of our planet. A place where one life form after another threatens to destroy anything put in front of it, and could cause worldwide devastation if it were to ever leave the island. In the midst of this chaotic ecosystem, a species is discovered that must be saved against all odds.

When I finished reading Fragment, my first thought was, “there’s no way this is a debut novel”, the writing is just too good. So I toddled off to my computer and googled away. It seems I’m wrong; it most certainly is Warren Fahy’s debut novel. Although he has been a bookseller, editor and the lead writer for RockStar Games Red Dead Revolver, as well as the author of a few articles, this is his first novel. I’m not of the video game generation, so the Red Dead bit…okay, means nothin’ to me. But I’ll say I wasn’t surprised. I’ve watched my kid play some video games and the creatures in the games are fantastical and imaginative. (Okay, and lots of times creepy, gory and weird too!) The imagination of the author in creating the creatures on Henders Island is sort of reminiscent of a video game, but with lots of detail, scientific research and information. Kind of like a video game for literate grown-ups!

I was lucky enough to score an Advanced Readers Copy and didn’t realize until the end of the book that there was both a map of the island in the back, as well as pencil drawings of a couple of the creatures. This brought me to the authors website, where there are some really beautiful renderings of some scenes from the book, as well as links to drawings of all the creatures. It was interesting to me that the pictures were pretty much as I’d imagined the creatures to look. The descriptive talents of Fahy are so terrific, that the pictures only enhanced the book for me, I was sort of glad I’d envisioned the critters for myself before I looked at the sketches and paintings. But, when you read the book, or if you’re curious, you should take a peek at Fahy’s website. You can find it HERE.

I’d really love to see more books by Fahy, his style, imagination and creativity made the book a compulsive pleasure to read. Another one of those multi-tasking books, where you read while you cook, clean, wait at Starbucks for coffee, at red-lights waiting for green, etc.

Fragment hit the bookstores on June 16, look for it, its really good!

My rating:


Anonymous said...

Sounds really interesting! Good review!

Unknown said...

I won a copy of the ARC and I'm in the middle of it. I peeked at the pictures before I read it, and the man described those bugs to a tee. Thanks for his website, he will be auto buy for me.

nfmgirl said...

I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. I won an ARC of Fragment on Library Thing, and am still waiting to receive it. I was eager to see what others had thought about it. Thanks for the review!

Kirsten said...

Sounds intriguing; would you classify this as "horror" or otherwise creepy/gory? Or is it more science-y, or anthropological? You've got me interested, but it sounds like a real departure for me, and I like to know what I'm getting into :)

Marie Cloutier said...

sounds great!

Kate said...

This sounds like a great read. Thanks for the superb review :)

Carolyn said...

Full disclosure. I work for the publisher. We created 3 webisodes based upon the novel (but with no spoilers!). Hope you'll check it out:
Here's the link to epiosde one:

Lori L said...

Great review! Fragment is now on my wish list!

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I found the book to be rather far fetched at best. The characters we're jokes. The plot thin. They get on the island...everyone dies except for two. They send all of the baddest critters in the normal world to the island and they all die within minutes. The island is about two square miles of land and they have multiple large critters (twice the size of a tiger). Everything kills everything else. It just goes on and on. Then, as luck would have it, the island, which has been around for millions of years is discovered a few weeks before it is going to be destroyed by earthquakes. Oh...don't forget Amelia Earhart is also associated with the story. I guess things weren't far fetched enough without adding her to the story.