Monday, May 14, 2012

Poke by Dayla Moon

Title: Poke
Series: Paranormal Poke Chronicles
Author: Dayla Moon
Length: 2264 Kindle units
Rating: 4.5 stars

The Plot

Zan has a special power. When a girl puts her finger in his belly button, he sees a glimpse of her future that reveals her secrets. Theoretically such a power would be great, but he always learns something that makes him reluctant to continue the relationship. Then one day he meets Austin, the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen, but when she puts her finger in his belly button, he doesn’t see anything. Does Austin have no secrets? Or are her secrets too terrible for even his power to discover?

The Good

Poke cracked me up. Zan is a great narrator in that he is the kind of idiot that only a 17-year-old boy can be, but he is still really likable because he doesn’t mean to be completely clueless. Even though a lot of the events were quite serious in nature, viewing them from Zan’s perspective made even the worst problems seem surmountable. Especially in comparison to the horrible fate of having to kiss a smoker with a tongue ring.

The mythology of Poke is unique to say the least. I mean, I’m pretty sure that if I had a power that required people to put their fingers in my belly button, I would probably never even discover that I had it. And I don’t think I would be comfortable with the required experimentation to determine the limits of said power. Of course, Zan has powers beyond that of precognition via belly button, as we discover as the novel goes on.

Also, Zan has a diabetic cat who he loves, and his concern that Mibs always gets his shots is reminiscent of real cat ownership.  And I just really like kitties.

The Bad

I seriously debated whether I wanted to put Poke on my quick pick list because there were a couple of things that bothered me about it. But then I decided that it was sufficiently humorous to counter that. And besides, I really need a book about a male protagonist on my list, even if the author is a woman.

The scenes that involve people who know more about Zan’s powers than he does get a little bit confusing, especially the first one. The evil witch starts manipulating perceptions so that Zan and his friends don’t know what’s going on, which leads to the uncomfortable situation that I also did not know what was going on. This was a recurring theme with the scenes with the bad guys. Zan didn’t know what was going on, so the reader didn’t know what was going on, which made things seem kind of random and confusing.

We know early on that Zan’s parents are dead and that he lives with his grandmother, but we don’t get a story of how his parents died. This led me to believe that the story was unimportant, except that it turned out to be important. And consequently, I wish we had learned it earlier in the story.

Also, this may be because I spent some time in England, where the less innocent usage of the word “poke” is used more frequently, but the title of this book seems kind of dirty to me.

The Romance

Zan has a hard time with girls, mostly because once he sees their secrets, he doesn’t want to spend time with them anymore. So when he meets Austin, whom he quickly concludes is the most beautiful girl in the world, he doesn’t want to see her future. This becomes moot when a. his power doesn’t work on her and b. she doesn’t want to see him again. Thus we see the plights of a teen boy who has been rejected in love. Which is complicated by the fact that he is simultaneously rejecting other girls like Raye-Anne, whose future seems to involve him getting beat up, and Julie, who is one of his best friends but who he doesn’t like in “that way.”

Will I read more?

I definitely found Poke entertaining enough to want to read more of the series. I’m hoping they all turn out to be as funny as the first.

See Details for Book on    Amazon     I don't have a kindle!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for the review! I've posted an excerpt and link from my blog: