The Boy A Thousand Years Wide is a YA dystopian novel about the battle between angels and demons, heaven and hell, and really, it’s an interesting take on a plot that has been done several times before. Angel/human halfbreeds are highly sought after by the denizens of hell, not just to bolster their own armies, but for a few other pieces of (spoilery) mischief as well. This book tells of Baxter’s journey through finding out that he is one of these halfbreeds, a Watcher, while trying to fight off demons and discover who his angelic father is.
I really wanted to like it, but when it comes down to it, the execution is quite disappointing, and the whole thing is in desperate need of an editor and a thesaurus. A very large portion of the book is dialogue, and while that can be an efficient way of explaining and introducing new things, in this case it’s just tedious. In the first 100 pages, “says” is used almost 400 times, and is usually followed by a full stop. “Shouts” is used over 200 times across the whole book, again almost always followed by a full stop. All of the characters “sound” the same, there is nowhere near enough variation between them, making it impossible to know who is saying what without the handy “[Character] says.” at the end.
I also found it very difficult to engage with any of the characters – not only did they all have almost identical personalities, but they had very little personality at all. At no point was there any reason to care about any of them, especially the protagonist – he was simply another bundle of shouty anger, and if there were any redeeming qualities, I’m afraid that I missed them.
Overall, this book has bland characters, pretty close to awful writing and a rather predictable storyline, and that’s really disappointing.
I received this book in exchange for a review.