Is it too cliché to say that The Dysasters is a disaster? I’m going to say it anyway. However, I will preface this review by saying that, despite my belief that this book is poorly written and far too cavalier in its handling of traumatic events, it is not entirely an unenjoyable read. Much like P.C. and Kristen Cast’s House of Night series, if you become immersed enough in the supernatural world and can ignore the dramatic cookie-cutter characters, you might be able to enjoy The Dysasters. For me, the intrigue of the plot premise was not quite strong enough to supersede my problems with the rest of the novel.
In The Dysasters, we meet almost-eighteen-year-old Foster, a girl with the special ability to control others’ actions, which she frequently describes as her “Jedi force.” Her adoptive mother, Cora, brings her to a football game at a Missouri high school, where she cryptically tells Foster she will meet a boy named Tate who is vital to her survival. At the football game, a tornado hits out of nowhere, killing Cora and most of the spectators, including Tate’s parents. Left with nothing but Cora’s instructions to take Tate with her to a safehouse, Foster flees the game with a confused Tate. At the safehouse, they begin to unravel the mystery of each of their abilities and learn that they are being hunted along with other teenagers around the world with similar propensities.
On a surface level, The Dysasters offers an interesting concept, a cross between a superhero story and a scientific experiment gone wrong. But all this is vastly overshadowed by the fact that not a single character is likeable. Superficial dialogue paired with unfeeling descriptions of characters’ responses to tragedy result in a lack of any sort of connection to the story, and most of the interactions between Foster and Tate feel disingenuous and generic. I think this series is supposed to feel somewhat like a comic book, as evidenced by the illustrations woven throughout, and I honestly think it would have worked far better if it actually had been a comic book. The painfully bland dialogue and one-dimensional characters could have been masked better in that format – and the intrigue of the plot itself more substantially elevated – but unfortunately as a novel, it merely falls flat.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Author||P. C. Cast|
|Page Count||320 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|