It’s been a busy week around here, and one of my biggest frustrations has been my inability to sit down and read Robison Wells’ Feedback. I just finished Variant last week, and I was so enthralled by the dang thing that I had to immediately download the sequel. I couldn’t be bothered to track it down at the library. (Thank you for existing, Kindle.)
Feedback picks up where Variant left off: Benson’s on the run, he believes he’s been trapped, his mind’s just been blown, and nothing is as it seems. Such is the beauty of Well’s Variant series–nothing is as it seems. He’s fantastic at keeping secrets from both his characters and his readers, and misdirecting their attention until just the right, climactic moment. And then: BOOM. Everything blows at once, and when it does, it’s perfect. Feedback, like Variant, is an amazing thrill ride, particularly in the latter half.
Other high points:
- Wells’ development of Benson as a character, and his strength. I love Benson’s willful courage, even when it drives him to the point of recklessness. He can be driven and single-minded, and sometimes a little thoughtless, which makes him unaware even of his own feelings, at times. Benson’s a flawed, imperfect character, and that makes him complex and real. He’s clever, but not absurdly so, as a character–he relies on other people for input and good ideas and sometimes for the encouragement he needs to go through with them.
- Benson and Becky. How real is it that Benson not only doesn’t know how he feels about Becky, but doesn’t even really acknowledge or realize that there’s anything to know until someone else is in front of him? I’ve watched scenes just like that play out in real life, and Wells’ handling of it was masterful.
- The last three chapters. I’m not spoiling anything for you, but let me just say: smart! crazy! fast!
I loved it. And it made me nuts that I was so tired I fell asleep in the middle of one of the last chapters. You know when you wake up and you’re thinking, “What?! How did I fall asleep? I’m READING!” …yeah. That happened.
A little PG-rated language–very mild. The tiniest bit less intense than Variant through the first half, but really only because we know a bit about what’s going on. 4.5 stars.