Spray is a new YA suspense novel written by British author Harry Edge.
A target for you to track down. An assassin on your heels wanting to track you down. An entire city to hide in.
This is Spray, a pressurized water gun game that has become hugely popular throughout the world. There's only one winner, and some players get really into it. Maybe too into it.
Among the two hundred players and three weeks of game play there are certainly some people with ulterior motives. Told from multiple viewpoints, you may feel like you yourself are playing Spray.
All right my beloved bibliophile readers, I can only be completely honest with you. This premise did not fit my fancy. It felt like an odd concept, not real appealing to me based off the back cover description or its cover.
The game itself is sort of confusing, and I honestly had a hard time in finding the point in it. What kind of prize would motivate two hundred people to stop their lives, whether school or work, to get this into it? It's never actually specified, beyond telling us that it isn't that big of a deal. We're supposed to be convinced that this water gun game is just so fun, that it is the experience alone that encourages people to want to play. I just couldn't wrap my head around that, sadly.
Also, the characters are given short names (Zed, Yogi, Mac, Green, Han, etc.) in order to be anonymous in the game. Unfortunately, these similar names made the characters themselves anonymous to me, the reader. I could not get down who was who, they became jumbled - making it even harder to get into Spray. They just became, for me, a big lump of confusion with nearly identical goals - to spray their target before their assassin sprayed them.
I don't want to slam the novel, because I am sure there are a lot of readers out there that would get into a concept like this. I encourage you to check it out for yourself, always! I, however, found it to be tedious - kind of like a drawn-out kids' game that lacked any lively characters or cleverness to grasp on to. And there is pretty much no stakes at all - the game appears to hold no actual danger, therefore no believable tension.
When some secret agendas begin to make themselves known much later in the novel, and the players have been reduced greatly making it slightly easier to know one from another, Spray becomes a bit more interesting. The pace picked up for me a little since I was more curious about these revelations. However, it still felt melodramatic to me and my patience didn't, in the end, feel rewarded.
Spray did become more fun as it progressed, but the oddly tense-less plot and conclusion and strange lack of stakes made it hard for me to really recommend it. But, like I said, READ IT FOR YOURSELF! Never, EVER take my word for it!!!
Be your own bibliophile!
Special Note: I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas tomorrow!!! I wish you all tons of books and Amazon.com gift cards! Please come back to the Bibliophile Support Group on Monday for another new review! And a week from today there will be an EXTRA SPECIAL New Years Eve post - highlighting the stand out books of 2010! Mark it on your calendar - and again, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!