The Alex Crow - Andrew Smith | ARC Review

4:57 PM
Pages: 289 ARC Paperback
Publication date: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Dutton Books
How I got the copy: Provided by Penguin Canada
Rating:  3 out of 5
Series: N/A


Skillfully blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, award-winning Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith chronicles the story of Ariel, a refugee who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel's story is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century . . . and a depressed, bionic reincarnated crow.


This book was interesting and so different than anything I’ve read. The way Andrew Smith tells this story will get readers thinking throughout the whole book. There’s no skimming allowed though or you’ll think you’ve missed an important piece of the story.

There are three stories being told at once, each story jumping from one to the other and it’s not until the reader reads more of the book that the pieces will finally start to come together. We follow Ariel, an immigrant boy who is adopted into an American family, Leonard, the schizophrenic and the diaries of an expeditioner from the late 19th century.

At first I was pretty confused on what was going on but I continued reading in hopes of finally putting more pieces of the story together to finally understand what was happening. And it was exactly like that, the more you read, the more the reader understands about the story because the pieces finally beginning to piece the story together from each perspective and make sense as one whole story.

Something I didn’t really understand was why some characters kept being referred to their full names but others were referred by only their first name. Same goes with the camps and research group’s name, when either were being referred it would always be called by it’s full title, “Camp Marrie-Seymour for Boys” or the “Merrie-Seymour Research group, Alex Division” every single time. Both these titles are referred to many times throughout every perspective and I felt it was excessive. Cutting the name down or even calling it just the “camp” when the boys were referring to it would have been sufficient and would have seemed more natural coming from teenage boys.

The Alex Crow is enjoyable and Andrew Smith has a very interesting mind. This story is creative and thought-provoking. I won't be hesitant to pick up another Andrew Smith book in the future.

I would recommend this to readers who have either already read Andrew Smiths’ work or readers who are looking for a gripping story that will keep you in the dark and slowly puts the story together one piece at a time.


Thanks for reading!

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