Sometime I look forward to reading a book I know nothing about, and such was the case with The Marbury Lens, by Andrew Smith. I knew it was some sort of sci-fi/fantasy novel and that it had gotten great reviews. Armed with no further knowledge, I downloaded it to my iPhone and headed out for a walk. It was an uncomfortable walk, to say the least, as Jack, the teenage protagonist, was abducted, drugged, and very nearly (I mean VERY nearly) raped by a man who had clearly done these things before.
For the next couple of days, I opted to listen to the birds on my walks, feeling no great desire to return to the story. Eventually, I went back to it. I figured this phase of the story would end soon and I would get to the sci-fi part, but even when I finally did, the book just proved too intense for me. Jack's mental anguish over what happened is grueling enough, but when he get's his first look into "Marbury," the world he is able to see through a special pair of glasses, the level of gore was just too much. After about nineteen chapters, I decided to call it quits.
Andrew Smith is clearly a skillful writer, and the narrator was good too. This just wasn't the book for me. Recommend this one only to older teens with strong stomachs.