RSS

The Cage Legacy – Nicholas Conley

06 Apr

cage-legacy Who is Ethan Cage?

Is he just a troubled 17-year-old high school student? A quiet, intelligent kid with a bad home life? Or is he a shattered human being, a boy who lost his faith in the world when he discovered that his loving father was secretly a psychotic serial killer?

As Ethan’s world suddenly spirals out of control, he must confront the reality of his dark past and finally make the decision that will either define his life – or cut it short prematurely.

Starting any book is always a step into the unknown, this one does not disappoint with its unexpected start.  From the get go we are misdirected from the usual to the stark and grim imagery (grimagery) but is this a good thing?

That depends on each reader of course.  This book is targeted at the YA market but also smoothly crosses over into the adult readers world most satisfyingly.  Kids these days are subject to so much in the way of adult concepts that perhaps they wold lap up the macabre nature of this book even though there is a lot of real world grimness pervading the story.

For us older readers we have a book involving drug use, self harm and some strikingly grisly images of a serial killer ilk, which is maturely done, in that nothing is gratuitous and there for its own sake, it has a part in the narrative.

Ethan, our protagonist is an introspective tortured soul, his teenage solitude with all those complex and confusing feeling of teenhood together with his being tormented by association with a serial killer even though innocent make for an extreme coming of age story.  This confronting of past demons as well as the usual rigours of puberty has worries coming at him from all angles.

Mention of the superficial teenage angst shouldn’t put anyone off,  yes it is repetitive and annoying by its very nature but necessary, compared to say The Catcher in the Rye which I found to be a very dull book.  The Cage Legacy brings a more human and modern take on youth, something with pace and mystery that kept me reading.

Diary entries throughout the book round out Ethan’s character, his past and drives distinctively.  The more I dwell upon it, the more I realise that nobody focuses on the family of serial killers, perhaps a thought is given but the fallout isn’t the story and so gets ignored.  I like the idea of seeing life through such troubled eyes, from a less well-known perspective.

The supporting characters all have their issues as well, allowing subplots to swirl around the main plot whilst never distracting from it…if I had one gripe with the book it’s that some of these were not quite tied up at the end but this is a small issue and like life leaves you with something to dwell after you finish the book should you wish.

The tension is kept ramped up all the way to the end of this gory story with its rapid pacing and twists.  I found myself obsessing over the most little of things, namely Mary and her welfare…but that is probably due my own idiosyncracies at work.  I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it, however if you are going to get it for a teen reader, there are some genuinely chilling bits as well as references to the aforementioned drug taking, self harm, abuse and gore to be taken into account.

Advertisements
 
26 Comments

Posted by on 06/04/2014 in Children's Literature, Fiction, Horror

 

Tags: , , , , ,

26 responses to “The Cage Legacy – Nicholas Conley

  1. Cody McCullough

    06/04/2014 at 19:34

    Sounds like an interesting read. I’m going to have to check it out.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      06/04/2014 at 19:51

      It does a fine line of straddling mature and YA fiction.. it’s one of those books where you find yourself about 50 pages in without reaLising it. It’s a good read mos’ def’.

      Like

       
  2. Letizia

    06/04/2014 at 22:26

    Sounds like a fascinating read, but, as you mention, perhaps not the best gift for a teen (they can stumble upon it on their own without my influence….). I wasn’t a big fan of Catcher in the Rye either.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      07/04/2014 at 19:24

      It’s all a judgement call really but at least here there is a sense of emotion to it and it’s not just dark doings for their own sake. CitR disappointed me for so many reasons, mainly because people seem to rate it and I am at a loss to see why. Perhaps it is a generation thing.

      Like

       
  3. Christina ~

    07/04/2014 at 04:47

    Oh my but you do tempt me….even though this is a far cry from my ‘genre’….not that I have a fixed ‘genre’ per se…I’ll take fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, mysteries, etc….though the purposeful grim I have a hard time getting excited for. After all that, I will say I absolutely love the way you view all the varying books you review and how you can find wonderful and unique things about each one to tempt those who read your reviews to give it a go…even if at first they weren’t inclined to do so. Dare I say your review is way better than the blurb?! Just my humble opinion anyway… xxxxxx

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      07/04/2014 at 19:32

      The ‘purposeful grim’ is as tastefully done as it can be, by which I refer more to the self harm than anything, the violence has to be more flamboyant…like a murder show on TV, think that and you will be on the right track. It isn’t dwelled upon to much, it is there and then the plot pulls you along, it is I suppose like a peep show of gratuity.

      I’ve never had such a compliment as ‘better than the blurb’ but this pleases me and once again drives me on. I like encouraging people to push their own boundaries and pick up books that are out of our comfort zone. I won’t ever settle down to just one genre, to do so would be to blunt my evolution of understanding everything…it is possibly the most epic quest ever but I like a challenge. xxxxxx

      Like

       
  4. RoSy

    10/04/2014 at 03:14

    I like the idea that this includes diary entries. It sounds like it adds a little something to the story.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/04/2014 at 19:57

      It’s a nice device to change perspectives and fill out the characters and stories. It keeps the interest going in all areas and reminds the reader of the main storyline when others have taken the attention for a while.

      Like

       
  5. LuAnn

    10/04/2014 at 13:51

    This sounds like a story that I would find very interesting. Coming from a less than stellar childhood, I often find myself wondering about one’s childhood when I watch their approach at handling daily struggles.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/04/2014 at 20:07

      It does have a very interesting perspective on childhood and as usual it makes the reader wonder about the lives of children and how they are affected for the rest of their days. I would be interested to know how you find it.

      Like

       
      • LuAnn

        10/04/2014 at 23:15

        I will certainly let you know. I have been giving a lot of thought lately to changing my approach to writing. I may send you an email and run some thoughts by you if you wouldn’t mind. Guess that means I value your opinion. 😉

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          11/04/2014 at 17:17

          Feel free to mail me whenever you wish my friend, I am most intrigued to see what direction you were thinking of going in…westerly has always been my favourite but then I’ve always been a little left wing, depending on which way you’re standing of course.

          Like

           
          • LuAnn

            12/04/2014 at 00:14

            Westerly is my favorite direction as well. Now that you mention it I wish we were heading west right about now but not for a few more months. We are on the move tomorrow so I will probably drop you a line or two in a few days. 🙂

            Like

             
            • Ste J

              13/04/2014 at 16:30

              I look forward to it as ever. a few more months is a good time, I am hoping to be over that way ASAP as well…

              Like

               
              • LuAnn

                13/04/2014 at 22:37

                I am still hoping to meet you, lest I scare you once more with that thought. 😉

                Like

                 
                • Ste J

                  14/04/2014 at 20:11

                  I am always up for a meet, with my iron will and resolve I will be up to challenge I’m sure hehe.

                  Like

                   
  6. thejerseygal®™

    14/04/2014 at 20:16

    Thanks for the heads up! My daughter likes darker-themed books, but maybe I’ll not let her read this one. However, it sounds like a good read for someone like moi!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      14/04/2014 at 20:36

      It does straddle adult and YA perfectly, it is a judgement call and a great excuse to read it yourself first. I do wonder what rating they would give it if it were a film…

      Like

       
      • thejerseygal®™

        14/04/2014 at 21:01

        I guess I’d need to read it too, for even that reason, which gathers the question, do you see it as a movie?

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          15/04/2014 at 19:00

          I hadn’t until you put it into my mind, it would take a screen play that made the repetitive teen rants more snappy…which would be to lose something though. They are repetitive for a reason though so it would be a tough call…It would probably be some sort of 12A if you have that rating over there?

          Like

           
          • thejerseygal®™

            15/04/2014 at 19:53

            No we don’t have that kind of rating. Is that for 12 and over? I could see it matching up with the rating for Divergent, which was pg-13…parental guidance suggested for those 13 and under.

            Like

             
            • Ste J

              15/04/2014 at 20:21

              yeah the ‘A’ just means 12’s have to be accompanied by an adult because of the nature of the film…just like the internet…oh wait. PG13 is the same difference really, not sure why there isn’t just one universal ratings system which would make things easier all round.

              Like

               
              • thejerseygal®™

                16/04/2014 at 01:34

                I know! This whole different ratings, different time change day per country really messes things up! How about mothers day, fathers day? Different in each country. Ugh.

                Like

                 

Tell me stuff...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: