Tiathyme (tiathyme) wrote in bookish,

Dancing Jax - Robin Jarvis

I tend to read a bit of Young Adult stuff, because it seems to push the boundaries more than "adult" novels. The Dancing Jax trilogy is a prime example of that. This series is so incredibly dark; there's murder, concentration camps, canabalism, and a whole lot of other things that don't really have names but are so far into Not Okay territory they can't even see the border anymore.

The story revolves around a book itself, Dancing Jax, which on the surface is a rather inane kid's fantasy book, but through nefarious powers makes most readers believe that they exist within the book, and the real world is a grey dream they must endure before they can return to their true life. The key word here is 'most'. For every few million or so people who's minds are overrun, there's one person that is imune. And it's around these 'aberants' that Dancing Jax revolves.

At first, the aberants are pitied by the Jaxers, then despised, then hunted down and killed and finally, worst of all, ignored completely. Most of these aberants are children and teenagers, although whether's that due to some inante feature of young minds or just from the YA focus of the book I can't tell. Through the story these kids grow from rather entitled brats to really quite powerful individuals. The ones that survive, that is.

Throughout the story there's some rather cutting comentary on the state of modern Western society, in all it's media-cycle, 10-seconds of fame glory. Plus some interesting notes on religion, which I felt was extremely well done (I normaly find anything religious quite hard to swallow).

I'd recommend Dancing Jax to anyone who enjoys some dark, modern fantasy and isn't faint hearted. 
Tags: author: j, category: young adult, genre: fantasy, review

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