The Fandom by Anna Day (2018)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Reading Time: 07/08/17 – 11/08/17
I picked up a proof of this superb book up at YALC because I thought the plot looked absolutely fantastic and I was not wrong. If you don’t know what this is about, it follows a group of friends on their way to ComicCon to meet the cast of their favourite film/book (think Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter style fandom). Instead of their day going as planned, they get thrown into the world of the book and have to fight to survive and get back to the world they know. They have to navigate the world of The Gallows Dance, where anyone considered not perfect is threatened to hang and all who are perfect live a life of luxury, sound familiar? So not only did Anna Day write The Fandom, she also wrote The Gallows Dance, the story they get trapped in. This book must have taken so much creativity and I am in awe of the storytelling.
This plot was intricate, intruding and complex, with twists and turns the whole way through. I couldn’t put this down and that isn’t a regular occurrence at the moment. I was constantly questioning every character we met along the way, but that went with the nature of the chopping and changing plot, I never knew who to trust. The main characters are each very different and have interesting relationships together. Violet is the protagonist for this book and she has many doubts in herself along the way of this story, as it’s up to her to save herself and her friends. Initially I was doubtful at the plot of The Gallows Dance and the division between Imps and Gems; a plot line I would compare to the contrast of those in the capital and those in the districts in The Hunger Games series. But I soon chose my side in the battle between imps (imperfect people with flaws) and gems (genetically modified people with zero physical flaws).
If you’re any kind of fangirl you will love all of the references dropped into this book. I love how many lines were included that linked back to a popular series. Some lines were cleverly hidden in the writing and I took pride in spotting them and also wondering if they were deliberate or not. I definitely felt myself sounding a successful cheer whenever a favourite fandom of mine was mentioned.
I don’t think I can keep this spoiler free any longer, so here we go for me blabbing every spoilery thing I loved in this book! If you like the sound of this book then it’s coming our January 2018 so go and preorder your copy now!
Ash. I want an Ash in my life. I usually say I want someone to love me like Rory loves Amy, but I’d also like to add that I’d like someone to love me like Ash loves Violet. He is just so kind and caring to her and there’s no stupid falling outs between them that hold up the plot, I hate those kinds of things so I’m glad they’re being eased out of YA. I think I can say that I liked Ash as a character as soon as we met him, he was confident and knew what he was doing, he felt like someone who could keep you safe. He maintains this position throughout the book and it kills me that we don’t entirely get a resolution from him. Yes he is the lead in the next book, but we don’t know yet if he is happy or if he will ever see Violet again. Surely there has to be a sequel, right Anna Day…?!
Violet’s relationship with Nate is my favourite of all. When they’re at ComicCon you get the impression he can be the annoying little brother, but once they’re thrown into the world of The Gallows Dance Nate comes into his own. Violet relies on him to support her and coach her through the plot she needs to follow. The two become inseparable, Violet is protective over Nate and Nate just has this strong hope he puts into Violet. It’s a brilliant example of a sibling relationship that I think I would have liked myself.
Katie and Alice were both interesting characters in very different ways. Katie was always consulting the words of Shakespeare and I’m sure if I was better at analysing literature I’d pull a lot of information about that. But I did think it was interesting to see how relevant these quotes became to helping Violet piece together what to do. Usually we think of Shakespeare as a wonderful play-write, but in this case the words come across as more of a motivational speech. When it comes to Alice I’m still lost as to whether we are meant to like her or not? Obviously she does some very crappy things, that seem to somehow get resolved by her last minute declaration of love for Violet. I don’t know about you, but I don’t suddenly forgive her! She forgot her friend far too easily, unless it was all a hoax to get the Gems on her side, but I feel again this was left open.
If you’ve read this book, please share your thoughts with me! I am preaching about it to everyone with a pulse and I need to know if there’s a sequel! However judging by the fact that the first book isn’t technically published yet, I doubt it. All in all a brilliant read and now one of my new favourites!