Dancing Jax Trilogy by Robin Jarvis REVIEW

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD…

It is no great secret that I am a Robin Jarvis fan. His Tales From The Wyrd Museum trilogy were the first series of books I read as a young adult, and they truly shaped me as a reader and a writer.

When Dancing Jax came along I was so excited to have some new Jarvis to read. It’s hard to remember how I felt reading the first book for the first time, but I will try. I remember loving the fact that it is written from many perspectives. This is a clever way to build a story and added to the slightly older feel to this book and it’s intended reader. There’s nothing at all wrong with talking animals, but this book is not that.

I remember wondering where the book was going – not in a bad way, in an awesome way. I have a tendency to guess outcomes, or figure things out as I read. But with Dancing Jax, I let myself get taken for a ride and felt like I was right there with Martin as the town around me went mental.

It is incredibly tense all the way through, aided by all the different perspectives and the different pieces of the puzzle slowly slotting together.

It has an invasion-of-the-body-snatchers sort of feel where the book takes over the town and the population spirals out of control. I think that’s how I sum up Dancing Jax: spiraling out of control. Jarvis clearly referencing our faddy world where the latest sensation eclipses all else for its shining 15 minutes of fame, but with his own cruel and gruesome twist. At the end, you really do think how on earth are we getting out of this?

Freax and Rejex is the sequel and what a sequel it is. Such a delicious concept for the second installment, one I was not expecting at all – a sort of concentration camp for children unaffected by Dancing Jax.

A brave and brilliant choice to not feature the good-guys from the first novel, and instead to broaden the dystopia he has created by going with wholly new characters, discovering new and exciting consequences to the hellish-fad of Dancing Jax. And as if the taking of the town wasn’t good enough in Dancing Jax, in Freax and Rejex the UK has fallen. It continues to grow in epic-ness the further we get into the trilogy.

When big things happen in life, there is the time before and the time after. I am not here to divulge any spoilers, but for me there is a turning point in Freax and Rejex and that turning point is Charm – what a character! Those of you that have read it know what I’m talking about, and those that haven’t, know that there is so much to come.

Fighting Pax is the end. I think if I had to choose one word to sum up Fighting Pax, it would be epic. It’s huge. Cinematic even. It brings together all of the characters from the first two novels for one last stand against the ultimate evil. And I thought it was incredibly clever of Jarvis to have people from all over the world flocking to Britain, desperate to join the royal court of the Ismus.

It pains me to say this, but I think this happens to me more often than not actually –  the concluding volume of a series of novels, or even films and TV shows, aren’t usually the books that stick with me the most. Details are often lost in my mind. I think it has something to do with the fact that I have probably read and re-read the first parts of the story several times in the time it takes for the concluding volume to be released. So they are the parts that resonate with me the most. Plus, I do love the parts of the story where the threat is building.

Having said that, I remember feeling immensely satisfied with the concluding volume of the Dancing Jax trilogy. I remember having to ration-read it because the urge to devour it all in one go was nearly overwhelming. But I don’t want to spoil it for you and I don’t want to tease you even more. All this Dancing Jax talk has wet my appetite… a re-read is most definitely on the cards (pun intended).

This trilogy had quite the affect on me. It is the trilogy that I recommend to anyone who asks me if I know any good books they should read. It’s not as well known as the likes of Harry Potter or His Dark Materials, but I truly believe it is just as good. Do yourself a favour and read these books. They will take you to a place you’ve never dreamed of; a place beyond the silvering seas

 

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