Secret Society by Tom Dolby
Do you ever wonder how some people have it all? The best schools, the hottest parties, the priciest clothes, the easiest jobs? Maybe it’s not because they work hard or get a lucky break every once in a while. Maybe it’s because they are part of a secret group. A Secret Society.
Alright, off the bat I want to say that I didn’t not like the book, I was just expecting more than I was given.
Opening with the scene of a crime, a boys body found at the base of Cleopatra’s Needle, an Ankh tattoo on his neck, you really need to have the rising action to support that prologue. You really need the reader feeling things- fear, foreboding, angst- the heartbeat of the story has to be strong. Unfortunately it kind of flat lined in Secret Society.
I want to reiterate that I didn’t not like the book, but I found I was reading something different than what was advertised. The first in a series, Secret Society was, I suppose the starting place from where the main characters can unravel the great mysteries that must be yet to come. That was a big problem, the author wasn’t divulging enough to make you understand why the characters are freaking out. There was no hold out and so when the “secret” was divulged to the group (or reader) I just kind of thought, “okay.”
The pacing is great, the individual characters are great, but the plot needs thickening, I know I’m not really one for an over complicated plot, but when you’re adding Egyptian culture to an underground NYC Society full of dreamers, and murderers, you have to weave in some good plot twists and make the reader sweat with anticipation.
On a plus side, the New York City Dolby writes is amazing, looking at the city through Lauren’s eyes is perfect and you can really feel yourself walking down the streets, hearing car horns, shopping bags full of “finds” swinging around. He was the master of setting, through and through!
Thoughts on the cover: I can only assume the model is Lauren, and I think she’s a dead ringer, the costuming department for the shoot were genius, the textures of the different clothing pieces are almost as amazing as the darklighting and the animated glow.
Thoughts on the names: Patchfield, *snort* how pretentious! But I love the nickname Patch and think it suits the boy very well. Phoebe still has the artsy edge the character needed and Lauren, though my favorite character, will always be the “blonde girl cop-out name” in my books! In fact, I made my mother change the name of her character when she thought she liked Lauren. Nick could be a perfect choice if he ends up leading the rebellion against the Society- since Nicholas means Victory of the People.