*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Netgalley arc Drop by Drop – Book 1 of the Step by Step trilogy by Morgan Llywelyn #Brainfluffbookreview #DropbyDropbookreview

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Once again, it was the cover that snagged by attention – and that scary premise of plastic objects melting across the world…

In this first book in the Step By Step trilogy, global catastrophe occurs as all plastic mysteriously liquefies. All the small components making many technologies possible―navigation systems, communications, medical equipment―fail. In Sycamore River, citizens find their lives disrupted as everything they’ve depended on melts around them, with sometimes fatal results. All they can rely upon is themselves.

I enjoyed the fact that we followed the same small band of folks as this disaster unfolds – and the fact that they lived in a small community. I have a fondness for books depicting small-town America… Initially, we quickly jump across a number of folks as plastic starts to dribble, which had me groaning somewhat. I get awfully tired of the apocalyptic convention of jumping into someone’s head, only for them to die in unpleasant circumstances due to whatever badness is coming to swallow the world. Thankfully, that wasn’t what drove this book, which settles down into something else and I think is a problem, especially for fans of apocalyptic sci fi, as this is small-town USA dealing with disaster – except it often wasn’t. It was more about the protagonists getting on with their lives, with the plastic issue sporadically causing a problem.

There is also an issue with narrative time – phones are now called Allcoms, so presumably this is set in a nearish future, which looks very much like right now. And the book was vague about the passing of time, so I couldn’t get a real sense of how long the townsfolk were dealing with the problem and there are no dates accompanying chapter headings to help out the reader.

However, I don’t want you to go away with the idea this was a trudge – I was able to settle down and enjoy most of the story, thanks to Llewelyn’s smooth prose and economical style. I got caught up in the characters’ lives and found the pages turning themselves – until it came to that ending… I don’t like being bounced at the end of a book, which appears to be winding everything up satisfactorily – only to turn it into a sudden cliff-hanger in the final paragraph. While I understand why it was done, it didn’t work. I shouldn’t finish a book feeling so irritated, which is a shame because those issues notwithstanding, overall this was an enjoyable read. Recommended for readers who enjoy their disasters on a very human scale. While I obtained an arc of Drop by Drop from the publisher via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.
7/10

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10 responses »

  1. Interesting…I don’t mind a more human drama focused apocalypse story, but this sounds like it just didn’t work that well. I’ll get my chance to find out as I also have a review copy😊 Thanks for your thoughts!

    • It wasn’t necessarily that it didn’t work – but it wasn’t this book’s selling point. I’ll be very interested to see what you make of this one, Tammy:)

  2. I’ve also heard that the story doesn’t focus as much on the “no more plastics” problem, which is a shame because that’s what drew me to the book. But I don’t mind a more human drama story either, I’ll just need to alter my expectations a little! 😀

    • Yes – I hope I made the issues clear, but that it was still an enjoyable read. What I wanted to ensure was that folks who prefer more mayhem and destruction in their apocalpyse would appreciate this doesn’t tick that box:)

  3. That’s a bummer that it doesn’t sound like it was focused enough on actually dealing with the disaster itself. I remember reading the synopsis on your site a while back and thinking that’s what the book’s focus would be. I’m glad you still enjoyed it overall though.

    • Yes, it was an entertaining read and while it was a bit irritating at times that the plastic disaster wasn’t really dealt with – I didn’t find it a dealbreaker. However, I can understand readers who found it was.

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