'My name is Kyle Straker. And I don't exist anymore.'
So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded onto old audiotapes. You might think these tapes are a hoax, but perhaps they contain the history of a past world....If what the tapes say is true, it means that everything we think we know is a lie.
And if everything we know is a lie, does that mean that we are, too?
The novel is written verbatim from a set of cassette tapes and explains how this young boy discovered the truth about what was happening around him. At first as the story started I wasn’t sure the background story was going to intrigue me enough to continue, but I battled through, and am really glad I did. I did feel that some of the background information wasn’t needed and that things could have worked well without it.
Kyle as a character was okay, something with him just didn’t sit right with me but that may just be teenage boys...I never could understand them! I loved the other characters, Kate was amazingly calm and level headed. While Kyle's personality annoyed me, the readers get a chance to see how much he has matured since the incident occurred and when the tapes are being recorded.
There is so much I want to say about the actual plot, however massive spoilers would occur and there would be a lot of unhappy people. I absolutely LOVED the last few chapters...I actually squealed because I thought it was so brilliant and that Lancaster (the author) is a genius for coming up with something so plausible and something I never would have guessed.
One of my favourite bits of the novel was the little footnotes at the end explaining references such as Teletubbies and Reality TV shows! It really helped set the scene that this was a set of found tapes from another time period. They appear lots at the start of the book and while it helped set the scene and the idea of what world the book was actually meant for really got me thinking. They stopped after a while and at first I was upset as they helped break the story up and added more comedy, but looking back on it, they vanished when the story became more critical and dramatic so adding comedy wouldn't be the best option!
Each chapter ends mid sentence, which is explained at the beginning of the novel that the tapes “cut off” and Kyle doesn’t notice, and each tape starts mid sentence as he doesn’t realise that there is a blank bit at the side. This suggests that it is a time after the common use of tape recorders and that the story isn’t set in the current time but set in the future, and then the book is written even further.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think I missed the hype...at least I hope I missed the hype, because I would hate to think this book was missed by lots of people! I also found out while trying to get a synopsis that there is a sequel...no idea how that is going to work but I'm excited to see how it will work!!