The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

Author: Andrew Smith
Pages: 368
Genre: YA/ Teen Horror
Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.

There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.

Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.

Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.
But it’s not. [via Goodreads]
Oh my, this book scared the bejesus out of me!  I thought this would be more of a fantasy, sci-fi type of read and instead I was taken into this maniacal, twisted world that gave me nightmares.  I am serious!  I still think about this book and I read it over a week ago. 

Jack lives in two worlds - he lives in our world and he also lives in Marbury.  Just thinking about Marbury brings me chills.  Jack who is kidnapped by a sadistic, murdering rapist - and then the visions of Marbury begin.  Marbury with its desert-like facade, demons, flesh-eating beetles and dismembered bodies.  Marbury which is almost like an addiction for Jack.  When he is in the real world (or is it real?) dreams of Marbury and finding his way back there. 

There was so much going through my mind when I read this.  Where the heck did this Marbury stem from?  Was it something like The Matrix, was Jack dead, was he hallucinating or high?  This book made me paranoid and it was just a hot mess.  But I still found myself riveted to its pages.  The premise and its cover were what originally captured my attention but once I actually started reading it - Mr. Smith's writing, Jack and his terrible ordeal, Marbury itself - were just so disturbing that I could not put it down.  (I'm a masochist, I know).

I have never read anything like this book before.  It was truly disturbing - and I say that in a good way! It was unpredictable, action-packed and just plain Awesome!

I do have to forewarn though, this is a very dark book and although it is geared for young adults - I'd recommend it for an older crowd (as within its pages you will find profanity (and lots of it), an attempted rape, dismembered corpses and even cannibalism).  I'm just saying. 

My Rating:


Anonymous said...

ohhhhh I cant wait to read this one...The cover is super freaky!!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Chilling? Oooooo now I want to read it and be scared too :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, your reaction to this book makes me want to read it! I want to read it for myself and see how disturbing it is. Adding this one to my wishlist now...

Cialina at Muggle-Born.net said...

I can't wait to read this book! It sounds like something I will absolutely love!!!!

christina said...

You had me right at "the book gave me nightmares". LOL. For sure, I must read this.

Unknown said...

Sounds way creepy, I definitely want to read it! Loved your review! =)

Veens said...

God, I definitely want to read this one. It is been a while seen I read something like this.

Kailana said...

That is an intriguing cover! I think between that and your review I might give it a try.

Andrew Smith said...

Wow. Thank you for that very cool review of my book. You say something that has been a kind of recurring theme in the statements I've received from readers: First, the book gives you nightmares (I actually based parts of the book on nightmares I had when I started writing it); and, second, that you couldn't stop reading it. Welcome to Marbury.

I know this isn't the typical kind of YA you see blogged about on the YA book sites, nor am I the typical kind of YA writer. So I really appreciate your taking the time to share your reaction to my novel.



Jen Bigheart said...

I loved this book! Definitely freaked me out, but in a good way!

Jen Bigheart
I Read Banned Books

Ryan said...

This just went on my wishlist. Thanks!

モテる度チェッカー said...


Lola said...

This is the second review I've read of this book. The first was negative b/c of the violence and rape. Now I'm interested. I'll definitely have to flip through it the next time I'm at the bookstore.

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