‘Fellside’ spoiler-free review!

Fellside was my book club’s pick for June and, unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it very much at all. I was initially intrigued by the premise of a ghostly prison story, especially as this would mean the protagonist, Jess, was obviously flawed (I’m so over ‘perfect’ characters). However, my initial interest petered out; Jess was DULL. In fact, none of the characters were very endearing or likeable. I get that the book is set in a prison so no-one is going to be all sweetness and light, but they were all just VILE. Paul in particular was creepy and weird. No thank you.

Also, this is a slightly strange complaint but what was with the character names?! They don’t read nicely! It reminded me of the stories I used to write as a child where I would make up random character names that just didn’t sound realistic at all! It made it really hard for me to suspend my disbelief and any time I would get into some semblance of flow, I would get jolted out of it by some weird name.

I found Fellside SO hard to get into. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s different from my usual kind of story or if it just really didn’t live up to its potential, but it took well over half of the book for me to become even a LITTLE invested. Even then, I don’t know how much of it was just me wanting to get to the end so I could read something else! It was FAR too slow. It did pick up a little towards the end but it was too little too late.

The front of my edition has a quote from Laini Taylor saying “you will not want to put this down” and it breaks my heart to have to disagree with my queen, but it was more like “I did not want to pick this up”. I genuinely had to force myself through it and, if this hadn’t been a book club read, it probably would have been a DNF.

I did like some of the writing in the early dream sequences and there were a couple of nice quotes, one of my favourites being “nobody ever got sharp from lying on a feather bed”. That spoke to me. However, I can’t say I enjoyed this. The ‘big reveal’ wasn’t shocking and it was basically one long slow journey towards nothing much!

I have to say, I’ve been very lucky in that this is the first book I’ve read with my book club that I haven’t enjoyed (and we’ve been going for over a year now! I blogged about that here). So that’s not bad! But sadly, this isn’t a book I’ll be recommending to anyone anytime soon.


Has anyone else read this? Or The Girl with all the Gifts? What did you think?

3 thoughts on “‘Fellside’ spoiler-free review!

  1. I got a chuckle reading your review – vile characters are so not cute. I tend to get vocal and physical reactions to reading those types of characters. My flatmate nearly copped a book to the side of his head and my dog has bolted the room at my yelling. Can you tell I really get into reading? How many times have I broken out in laughter on the tram to work…. lets leave that there. I’m sure people think I’m just a bit eccentric. ‘Fellside’ fell on the fence for me. I liked M.R. Carey’s ‘The Girl With All The Girfts,’ and the premise of this novel looked interesting, but it didn’t hook me. I’m glad to have read your honest review. I might skip it and move on to ‘The Boy On The Bridge’ – a sequel to the zombie debut.


  2. Pingback: Mid-year book freakout (in August)! | the paperback piano

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