Debris Book Review3 min read

“There was no evidence that Erin’s mother had died, nothing but her disappearance and the ring, yet the ring seemed enough for him, holding it in his hand he was sure he could feel her, like he’d felt his mother in the clocks that had stopped, or in the breeze that had come through the door the night of the wake and it scared him. He held the ring in his palm. His fingers curled tight as if it was her hand he held and without him she might fall away.”

Author: L.M. Brown                      Published: 2018                            Pages: 156

Andre is troubled by the death of his mother and finds himself acting out because of it; after an incident at school, he is sent to live with his aunt as his father doesn’t know how to make his son behave. Once he’s moved, Andre meets some teenagers, including Erin. Erin has a troubled history of her own; after the disappearance of her own mother, her father has lost himself in drink and she is adamant that his abusive nature had something to do with her mother’s whereabouts. And so when Andre and Erin begin their own investigation into her mother’s disappearance, Andre begins to discover that everyone’s past is filled with secrets and mystery.

This book was confusing from the start, and I found it difficult to get my head around the characters right from the beginning. Debris is quite a short book and I think it could have benefitted from being a little longer and to have included more description and information about the characters and their relationships with each other. I also could not understand where the novel was set. Initially a lot of their names could have been Scandinavian, but then there was a brief mention of Ireland, but to be honest there really should have been more effort put into the location. Some descriptions or even some history which cemented the plot in one place would have improved the narrative a lot.

I really enjoyed the plot surrounding Erin and her father; they had an interesting and volatile relationship which made for an exciting plot arc and left me intrigued to see what would happen with them. On the other hand though, as a protagonist, Andre was confusing – I never felt much compassion for him, even after the tragedy he endured, which was a shame. I’m not sure if he was supposed to be likeable or not, but it would have been nice to feel some kind of connection with him.

Another part of the novel I enjoyed was the mention of ghosts and silkes, however, I feel that the author could have done a lot more with this, she could have taken that even further which I think would have given the novel an exciting twist to make it interesting.

Brown’s imagination is clearly capable of allowing her to form an interesting plot but I think this novel felt rushed. It would benefit from being longer, and more detail given to the characters’ descriptions and relationships. Overall I enjoyed Brown’s writing and I would read another novel of hers, I just think she needs to polish her narrative style to improve her next work as she has the potential to write something brilliant.

Thank you to the author, L.M. Brown, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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