Giveaways are quite a common feature now with blogs. I’ve participated in a few of them too, mostly books, but winning a single? Nyah… that didn’t happen. So, I did the needful for this giveaway on Ste J‘s blog and, forgot all about it. I entered the giveaway because I liked Ste’s review of the book, The Mill, by Jess D. Harpley.
One fine morning, an email from the author herself informed me that I’ve won the book! Whoa! What a moment for me! Yes, I know winning a book is not a big deal, but for me, it was. Moreover, I wanted to read that book as the review piqued my interest. Here, I must include that Ste J is a pretty good reviewer and his reviews always make one crave for the book discussed.
Anyway, without much more delay, let me come to the point. Jess was kind enough to send me a physical copy of the book (overseas shipment) with a genuinely nice note attached to it. And, though I admit the fact that Kindle definitely has rekindled reading habits of the new generation, I still feel happier holding a book in my hand. Old school. Huh?
The Mill is a novella with only 152 pages. I finished it at one go, not because the volume was less but because I had to.
If you are into Young-Adult Lit or urban fantasy, you’ll have to add this book to your list. The protagonist of the story, Jen, suffers from unending loneliness, a vacuum she has nothing to fill with. Even with a complete submergence in drugs, she finds it difficult to cope up with her life, a life she thinks she has failed. Even her parents and twin brother Mike do little to make the situation better and, she finds life dancing in a desultory fashion for her.
She yearns for care and camaraderie and eventually discovers herself in The Mill ! But is it the place she wished for? The multi-layered cavernous Millwelcomes her with its tentacles and, she literally has to make a journey through time and space to be alive again.
The situation Jen finds her in, will give you a shiver and, a strange feeling of not fear, but hopelessness. But, she makes her way through, she finds friends and foes, feels cheated, meets with treachery and feels like a marionette in the hands of destiny, but she keeps on going. She understands the true meaning of life and, recognizes her strength while gasping for life in the ducts of The Mill.
There are gory scenes, blood-curdling graphic description of events, but I find them quite in sync with the story and not grotesque.
I like the character of Jen and, the shades she has been adorned with throughout the story. Her initial weakness later transforms into her strength and she reveals a true braveheart. I really admire her when she says,”I promise to make my life as best as I can, I promise to make a difference.” I can’t help smiling when she taunts Veronica, Mike’s betrothed girlfriend.
Hopper is another favourite pick. She has a heart and she means friendship.
The Mill is not only a simple sci-fi urban fantasy. It’s a story of transformation, it’s a story that helps you understand that one should always face life as it comes and, there’s no free escape. You can’t come out unscathed once you are into life.
The only one thing I think could be improved is that a tad more elaboration on Jen’s adaptation with the weirdness of The Mill. It seems that she accepts and copes up with the things very easily. And, there are editing issues, just a few and minor ones, but I would appreciate if those are corrected in the next edition.
But, it’s a great read for me and, anyone who has a penchant for adventurous read shall find it enjoyable.
P.S. Do you like the book cover? For me, it was nostalgic, straight from the good old days.
P.P.S. Thank you Jess for sending me the book. Your nice, little note really made me happy.