[Review] The Labyrinthians

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Title: The Labyrinthians (Book 1)

Author: J.A. Armitage

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Published: February 27, 2016

Source: Copy provided by NetGalley

Quicklinks: Amazon | Goodreads

When Kimberley's father loses his job and it looks like her whole family will be homeless, a mysterious old benefactor saves them by leaving his 'mansion' to them in his will. However, their new house, with its history of spooky happenings and disappearances, is not all it seems. When Kim's little brother goes missing, it's up to Kim and her new friend, Nate, to find him. The problem is... When they do - who will find them?

The first in a new YA series, The Labyrinthians begins a story of adventure and of terror and finding yourself when everything else seems lost.
Thir13en Ghosts meets Cube in The Labyrinthians.
Okay, so let me just say that it’s been so long since I put this book in my queue that I started reading without knowing exactly what the whole thing was about. Honestly, with the beginning (and not knowing what I was reading), I first thought it was just horror. I mean, it had the introduction of one… 

Horror Checklist
The Haunted House
  • Poor family in need of money.
  • Said poor family finds out they had a relative they never heard of.
  • Said relative leaves them their mansion.
  • Family is told that they aren't the only ones to have inherited said mansion, but the others mysteriously disappeared.
I mean, that definitely all points to a sliver of horror-esque type of writing, yes? 

But then, 10% in, I realize I was wrong and honestly, I'm happy about it. Now it also has a hint of Indiana Jones and Uncharted (which, to me, is better). This is the first Adventure-type book I'm reading since coming back from the long hiatus. After reading more than half of the book, I came to a decision that the plot seems oddly familiar:

Thir13en Ghosts:
  • Mother of the main character randomly inherits a house from a relative they never knew about.
  • The house contains rooms with walls and floors that move.
  • The labyrinth that the main character finds has a crapton of randomized rooms that are and aren't filled with booby-traps of some sort.

It kind of irks me that the main character doesn't do much to help get through the maze in the beginning. I mean, Nate is the one thinking of everything while she just sits somewhere or complains about being told to let him think. 

What I really liked about the author's writing was how she ended her chapters. They ended with a bit of suspense, making you want to continue further without putting your book down. That's a great quality to have in a book!

I really loved the sense of danger with every puzzle that they come across. It's one thing to have to go through a labyrinth to get out with only the threat of starvation and thirst, but it's another when your life is at risk to do the puzzles. It most certainly adds to the thrill.

Extra Notes

  • Some of the dialogue in the book doesn't have opening or closing quotations and that makes it hard to tell when a character stops talking and when the narrating begins.  
  • Who the hell says "oh my goodness me?"
  • I love it when authors use words that are not in my vocabulary. I now love the word "flummox."
  • There were a few too many page-length paragraphs which made it hard to take breaks and it put a strain on my eyes. Not a good thing.

Overall, the story was really exciting and full of suspense when it came to what lay in the next room of the labyrinth. It did get boring near the end because at that point, they've gone through countless rooms and it began to seem repetitive even if the room was slightly different. The end was satisfactory, but I've heard there's more. My only question is what more could there possibly be to warrant 3 more books? Guess I'll have to finish the Trilogy to find that out. I'm looking forward to it, no doubt.

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