Written by: Lindsay Ribar
Published: June 7, 2016 by Kathy Dawson Books (Penguin Group)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow in this paranormal suspense novel about a boy who can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love—and his family's secret ritual that for centuries has kept the cliff above their small town from collapsing.
Aspen Quick has never really worried about how he's affecting people when he steals from them. But this summer he'll discover just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they'll go to keep their secrets safe.
With a smart, arrogant protagonist, a sinister family tradition, and an ending you won't see coming, this is a fast-paced, twisty story about power, addiction, and deciding what kind of person you want to be, in a family that has the ability to control everything you are.
I was intrigued by this book when I first learned about it. Nevermind the Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow comparison, a magical realism and paranormal mystery with a crazy family dynamic... sign me up. And this book did not disappoint. It was weird in the best possible way and one of the most unique YA fantasies I have read in awhile.
I think my favorite thing about this book was the magical realism aspects. It's a subgenre of fantasy that I have really enjoyed lately and I loved it here. The magical system was so interesting and unique. Pulling things out of people through their objects sounds really strange and it was, but it was also really fascinating. Like all good magic systems it had clear rules and guidelines but it was also something all it's own. I loved seeing the magic in effect and learning more about it as the book developed. As the book went on it became more and more complex as it was tied to deeper seated issues both internal and external. But what I liked most about is that it's one of those magic systems where it explores the idea of if magic helps or harms. There were deeper themes tied to the magic which I really enjoyed. It was definitely fantastic and weird.
And it's a good thing that I enjoyed the magic because it was very much a part of the plot of the book. And a great plot it was too. It only took me two days to listen to the audio because I seriously could not stop, it was that good. I was expecting weird and a little creepy with unexplained occurrences and sure, it had some of those elements, but they weren't the focus. What should have been weird made total sense which left room for a very different mystery. It effortlessly combined the magic and mystery to create something so compelling. Not to mention that it really built to a thrilling ending with a climax that came so late in the book that I was wondering how it could possibly end, but it did. Plus along the way it had a lot going on and explored some really interesting themes that kept me incredibly engaged.
One of those themes was the exploration of the family dynamic, which was so entrenched into the plot and the mystery of the book. I think the family dynamic was the real drama here. There was so much going on with the Quick family and it affected them and the town at large. Learning their history and seeming them interact in both positive and negative ways was one of the best parts of the book. Messed up family dynamics are nothing new in literature but here it was handled so well that it was engaging and complex.
Which I guess brings me to the characters. They were just as complex and weird as the book. There was so much to these secondary characters, especially members of the Quick family like Grandmother Willow and Aspen's Dad. They are quirky in a non-traditional kind of way. It was more dramatic and kind of less expected. They are also terrible. So many of the characters in this book are terrible people, especially the MC. Aspen Quick is not at all likable. He's a self-centered jerk who does things out of selfish personal interest. There were so many moments where I wanted to punch him. But that was what made him so compelling, I wanted to know what would happen to him in spite of or maybe because he was so likable. Plus he had a great development throughout the book and in the end I wanted him to succeed.
I listened to the audiobook for this and it was a really great audio. Michael Crouch, the narrator, did a great job of creating the emotion and characters of this book. His tone and inflection definitely allowed the listener to feel what the characters were feeling. When the action started picking up you felt the suspense. I also really liked the way he developed the characters. His accents help you not only differentiate but get to know them on a deeper level. It was a fantastic audiobook and I'm glad I listened.
On the whole Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies is a unique and thrilling read full of mystery, magic, and complex characters. It's one of the most unique books I read in a long times and I really loved it.
I give Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar 9.5 out of 10 stars
Have you read Rocks Fall Everyone Dies? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!