D.O.G.S. By M.A. Bennett
The sequel to the excellent 'S.T.A.G.S.' isn't as good as the 1st book. It sets up yet another sequel. This was however not as bad as the author's other novel 'The Island'. There are so many movie references in this they become OTT. The heroine Greer seems oddly stupid for someone who won a scholarship to a top boarding school.
Greer is mysteriously gifted the only surviving copy of Ben Jonson's banned play 'The Isle Of Dogs'. She's also mysteriously left in charge of such a priceless fragile relic that is the only surviving copy of a play banned under Elizabeth I. She decides to stage a performance of the play to get into Oxford.
Greer then discovers a connection to the human hunting death cult she uncovered in 'S.T.A.G.S.' - opps! Greer still loves Henry a dead murderous cultist. Or is he dead? There are flawed options, contentious topics, serious implications and a wider confrontation looms. Greer returns to an isolating unsafe place. This is not a disturbing insight into the life of the haves, it's fairly mad really.
People don't meaningfully respond to danger. Greer keeps assuming with benevolent contentment that people are on her side. The haves would never choose to embrace Greer and co and her sinister visit to a stately home does not fill her with pervasive fear of the abhorrent haves. She can't conceive of the evil that lies in waiting for her and that they can do anything to her as a coercive tool.
This was exceptionally unrealistic but it is good. Greer never considers the consequences of her dark knowledge. The grave cannot stop the horror. Evil is attendant. Sense remains unheeded. Strange and unpleasant activities unfold.
Greer presists. This has no emotional nuance. There is nefarious behaviour but no nuanced character arcs. Greer's infantile and she has an overly optimistic view of her future. She has no means of escape. But she's overly confident and unendearingly charmless. Something darker is manifesting and she doesn't notice because she is reckless and irresponsible.
The human hunts aren't taken as seriously as they should be. People have evil intent and the ultimate consequences have yet to be felt. People have very dark purpose and dark associations grow. This was goodish.
“Turkey was considered too newfangled and , even worse, American.”
“A-hunting we will go.”
“Something really grim.”
“Suppressed so completely that nobody's ever worked out what it was about.”
“He might have been a kid killer, but he was a helluva teacher.”
“I knew what he was, what his heritage was,”