Title: Mask City
Author: James Agee Jr
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Blurb: With James Agee, Jr.’s second work of fiction, Mask City, he presents a world where two siblings, Thomas and Lacy Farthur, are thrust out of their seemingly harmless world into a society they formerly didn’t know existed: an underground domain where the common adage, “A person is not a person without a mask,” is exploited in the most dreadful manner. Thomas and Lacy, through a series of dramatic and horrendous undertakings, eventually find themselves challenging the system that took everything away from them. This work is an exploration of friendship, trust, redemption, and discovering purpose.
My Review: Mask City is an interesting novel to say the least. As the blurb says, this story is about two siblings: Thomas and Lacy. The relationship between the siblings was loving and honest which I also enjoyed. They live a very sheltered life away from civilization. Honestly, at the beginning I kept asking myself what the title has to do with the story; Then the story unfolds and I was left with no clue what to expect.
After a series of events that I never saw coming, these two siblings end up in Mask City. I was very intrigued by the brother and sister in the story. In particular I really enjoyed Thomas. His way of surviving took me a few minutes to understand. His way of knowing his choices were taken away from him and that he must do as told to survive was kind of humbling. In literature, I have come to expect the protagonist to fight against the system. For his way of surviving to be, I don’t know, kind of heroic. Agee, in this novel showed that there are times where the only way to survive is to follow the rules set forth.
Mask City is intriguing and with the exception of the chapter where Thomas receives his mask, this was a pretty quick read. Every chapter has a little cartoon/ animation at the beginning. I really enjoyed these and thought it did wonders for setting the scene. In that particular chapter, the animation is someone crying and I’ll admit, it scared me off. I was expecting a very creepy and painful scene- and it was. So with the exception of my irrational fear of this scene I mostly read this novel straight through. It was intriguing and tended to be unexpected.
Now, I am a sucker for happy endings and Mask City had it in spades. Seriously, it was pretty great. After reading Jim, Agee’s short story, I was looking forward to seeing how he would do with a novel. Mask City is a fast paced novel, which I enjoyed, yet I was left feeling that the characters could have been better developed. I think that had there been more character development, I would have felt more of a connection to the characters- in particular that has more to do with Lacy. I sadly felt no connection to her at all. I think that had I felt that connection to the characters I wold have enjoyed the ending a lot more. Also as unreasonable as this complaint may seem, I felt as if that happy ending came a little too easily. Not that the characters didn’t suffer enough, it’s more that I feel the actions leading to it were just too lucky, too convenient. Everything just fell into their laps and the happy ending I first hoped for came about too quickly. I feel like a bit of an idiot with this complaint. No doubt, the novel was good, and I fully enjoyed reading it but I got to the ending and was left looking for pages. Like, is that it?
So even with the afore mentioned complaint, I enjoyed the novel. It was well developed and a page turner. This a novel that is unique and even their mundane kept me guessing and entertained. It was a guessing game and I never knew what to expect from it. Which tends I be something I enjoy.
Now, here is your chance to get a copy of Mask City and form your own opinion of it. James Agee Jr is giving away four ebook copies of this novel. Since Rafflecopter truly seems to be the way to go just click here to enter. Giveaway ends January 12, 2013
*I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review