This Book Was so Try Hard It Actually Hurt

Descent - Tim Johnston

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Honestly this is going to be a short review. I did not like this book. I thought it was try hard of the most try hard literary books I have read in quite some time. I have no idea why Tim Johnston wrote this book like it was a terrible Dan Brown screenplay, but he did. All of the writing was overwrought. One of the characters disappears in the middle of the book to just sort of being referred to by other characters and we plod onto a happy ending. And there are enough vague things in this book to make me think that the father in the book was a sexual predator or was thinking some not fatherly thoughts about his daughter. I don't know why that was included and or what Johnston was trying to say. I just don't care at this point.

 

I think that there are five narrations in this book. I think. I know that there is the father, mother, boy (seriously that is how he is referred to in this book though his name is Sean nicknamed Dudley), Caitlin, and someone named Billy. 

 

The book revolves around the Courtland family who travel to the Rocky Mountains since Caitlin really wanted to go there before college and run. I kid you not. Apparently Caitlin is a track star back home and she's looking to do something that will have her test her endurance. Things turn ugly for the Courtland family though on this vacation and then the rest of the book is the family dealing with things after Caitlin disappears from a morning run she took with her brother. 

 

I can't say much about these people except that they were not developed at all. Caitlin seemed like a jerk from the brief glimpses we get of here in the first few pages. I felt sorry for the boy (Sean). The dad was odd from beginning to end and I seriously think that all he seemed focused on was just sex. The mother was a mess. And I think she was a mess from the beginning. When I say mess, I mean I don't know what the purpose of this character was at all. She seemed to be dropped into an entirely different book and then just forgotten about until the very end. 

 

The writing as I said was painful at times. Everything was just too much. 


The flow was off from beginning to end. Due to the writing everything felt like it took 10 years. I have no idea why the mother in the book just randomly disappears around the 50 percent mark. Then the book just focuses on the father (Grant) and the boy (Sean) and then lo and behold as readers we find out what happened to Caitlin. I am honestly thinking of ways the book could have been improved and I am coming up dry. That's honestly because I think that the book was just lopsided. And the reveals came way too soon. Let readers have to think on a plot and get into it a bit more before you show them (me) what happened. I found myself bored for the last 25 percent of the book.


The setting of the Rocky Mountains should have felt sinister as I was reading. It did not. Probably because we don't get much descriptions about them. I never felt any sort of tension or much of anything but boredom while reading this.

 

The ending was a happy ending and it did not feel earned at all.

 

July 11: $142. Read "The Descent" 384 pages; Kindle edition. $6.00. First time on Paradise Pier 30

Balance $142.