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A psychological maze that will keep the reader hooked through and through.

Rottnest is a psychological novel that will keep the reader hooked through and through. Part of its success might lie in building a firm and functional narrative driven by the main character, as well as consciously centering the plot in a single location in the isolated rural area (the book is also titled after), and then drawing inspiration from its peculiarities to enhance the atmosphere and unravel the character traits. Rottnest is not just an old mansion somewhere in northern England but also a materialized symbol of a forgotten era and a worldview, it is a bridge between the present and the past, one being walked on by Peter Dawes, a music journalist who seems to have neither too much luck in love or career (or so he thinks of himself, the novel is written from a third-person but the narrator leaves plenty of room for Pete's occasional train-of-thoughts and internalized insights). Peter is in his sixties, while the residents of Rottnest (mentally, spiritually, and emotionally trapped in the 70s era) are in their twenties and thirties, and this age gap (as well as their mutual interest in music, as it is often said that music, when done properly, transcends time) was necessary to create the link between the fatherly figure of Pete and the reclusive distrustful band members whose music he was hoping to present to the world. Pete's profession, one of a journalist, works well for the storyline and its development, the reader instantly learns Pete is curious, with an inquisitive mind, and as such the perfectly active protagonist, indirectly announcing some sort of mystery or a secret to be revealed. When it comes to the genre, the narrative depicts the story of what was initially imagined as a utopian and idealistic community by the Karsten siblings' parents, turning into a cult-like dystopian reality based on one-mindedness, cruelty, and isolation. The side of the bridge Pete is coming from is not perfect either, as does his state of mind reflect upon his arrival to Rottnest, and it is in this point of space and time that both the dialogue and the conflicting worldviews are weaved in by the writer E. V. Faulkner. The novel also seems to explore the various aspects of technological advancement in everyday life, as well as the side effects of trauma. A book well-written, both technically and creatively, with a sympathetic and quirky protagonist, and (considering the setting and the character building) the text would work well on the stage as well.

Reviewed by

Interested in various forms of storytelling. Writes screenplays, reviews and short stories.

About the author

E.V Faulkner is the pen-name of a multi-genre author living in the UK. They are married with one child. They have an eclectic taste in music and books. view profile

Published on May 16, 2022

40000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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