Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tattoo Atlas by Tim Floreen Review

Title: Tattoo Atlas
Author: Tim Floreen
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror/GLBT Fiction
Series: N/A, standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.

I've been interested in the work of Tim Floreen since his debut novel, Willful Machines, came out a few years ago. I was scrolling through an article that happened to recommend Tattoo Atlas as one of the best books of October this year, and, after reading the premise of the novel, I ordered it from my library. It's been sitting in my library stack for a while now, waiting to be read, and to be honest, I'm really mad at myself for not reading this book sooner. With Tattoo Atlas, Tim Floreen has carved a permanent place in my heart--this was one of my favorite books of the fall, if not the year. What an amazing story!

Tattoo Atlas is an incredibly revelant novel: the issues of excessive violence and its effect on society as a whole, gun control, and what we do in the face of unspeakable, irrevocable acts that defy human nature, and it never comes across as preachy--it's all wrapped up in a creepy, sleek mystery that skillfully evokes Robert Louis Stevenson-esque horror and an intense, forbidden attraction. God, I loved every moment of it, even as I glanced around my empty, creaky house to make sure no one was hiding around the corner...

Rem Braithwaite's classmate, Franklin Kettle, did something unspeakable, unforgivable: He shot up the classroom and personally murdered one of Rem's best friends. Rem, a gay boy who's been out for a while now, is still reeling from the murder. When his mother announces a new, groundbreaking technology that could fix Franklin's sociopathic tendencies, the spotlight for the troubled boy gets even more uncomfortably bright. As more of Rem's classmates turn up dead, he must decide if Franklin is a new man, or if the killer is just out for more blood, or he could be next on the hit list...

This book was wonderful. And not wonderful in the way of a happy ending, or a heartwarming story. Tatttoo Atlas goes to the darkest depths of the human mind and soul, taking the reader on a rollercoaster ride of ethics, chilling twists and turns, and surprising, exciting characters that grab you by the throat and don't let go. I loved every moment of it, and couldn't put it down. (That ending! Gah!) What a fantastic book! I can't wait for more from Tim Floreen! The bottom line: A dark, frightening story that ponders whether or not evil is innate, learned, and if it can be cured, Tattoo Atlas is one of my favorite books of the year! Absolutely amazing! Next on deck: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard!

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