3-star · Book Reviews

Book Review: Haze by Brandon J. Barnard

★★★/★★★★★
Title: Haze
Author: Brandon J. Barnard
PubDate: March 21, 2016
Page count: 154

 Without feeling insignificant we can’t feel free.”

I managed to finish this book weeks ago and I know it took me forever to write a review (sorry!) but here it is now.

Set in London year 2071 where air pollution was so high that people need to wear a gas mask when going outside, the novel followed the life of Jack Decker, an office assistant who didn’t like his job. He was socially awkward without any friends that was until he met Haze who was too busy stuffing her mouth with doughnuts the first time they met. Jack grew fond of her and eventually started to fall for her. There were also flashbacks that gave us more of Jack’s past.

What I liked most in this book was the mystery surrounding Jack as well as Haze. Though there were instances that I’ve predicted what would happen next, it was still good to be surprised at times. Another thing I really liked was Jack’s DDing! (That’s Digital Diving, by the way) It’s some sort of VR that lets you dream anything you want and anything inside it would feel real, like you’re really there! How cool is that? At some point we saw Jack sharing a DD experience with Haze which deepened his feelings for her. Here we also saw Haze giving us an idea of what-if-you’re-dreaming-inside-a-dream kind of thing.

“This aspect of Digital Diving brought along different emotions for everyone. Some felt secluded, others felt a lack of atmosphere, and Jack felt right.”

 I didn’t feel any strong connection with Haze but it didn’t mean I didn’t like her. She was a so-so and maybe it’s because she wa predictable. Her character was underdeveloped and I think it would’ve been better if we saw more of her story. Jack, on the other hand, was relatable but his character was inconsistent and it was somehow confusing.

Now let’s get to the things-I-didn’t-like/get part. First, it was set in a post apocalyptic London which I think didn’t really play a great part in the story. I mean, it could’ve been set in a modern day and it wouldn’t matter. Or maybe I just didn’t see the connection? And then the pacing was a bit off at times and I felt like the flashbacks were only inserted to make the story longer. There were also grammars errors and sometimes the dialogues felt unnatural. Or maybe it’s just me. again. And then there was the issue about his mental health which I think was taken lightly.

That said, I think Haze has a great potential if the plot is developed even more and the writing is improved. It’s a really interesting concept and I think it can still be polished into something better!

*I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

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