Saturday, July 15, 2017

[Book Review] The Limpet Syndrome by Tony Moyle

Book Review of The Limpet Syndrome by Tony Moyle

Oh my gosh. I had so much fun reading this book!

When I first read the book synopsis, I thought it would be a bit out of my wheelhouse. But I was very happily proved wrong! I mean, just from this passage, I should have known that this author's humor was going to be a hit with me:

"If you love books about reincarnation, corruption, the human condition, OCD and talking pigeons then this is the book for you. OK, you've never read a book like that before... here's your chance!"

Seriously, give this book a chance! :)

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. 

The Limpet Syndrome by Tony Moyle book photo

The Limpet Syndrome by Tony Moyle 

Book Synopsis:
Imagine there was a politician whose only ambition was to corrupt and manipulate the very people who elected him, without them even knowing it. 

This was Byron T Casey's ambition. It helped that he was the Prime Minister and had just acquired Emorfed, a substance that had the ability to alter a person's soul. Sandy Logan was the only person capable of stopping him. But there was one problem. Sandy was dead. It complicated matters that his death had been aided by the mysterious Limpet Syndrome, which meant he wasn't dead dead. Very few people understood why Sandy's soul had lingered on Earth, least of all Sandy.

My thoughts: There will be some slight spoilers! Proceed with caution. 
Oh my goodness I don't even know how to start with this one! I just loved it so much! I mentioned the humor above, so lets start there!

So like I said, the humor was right up my alley. I found myself laughing so much! I also marked a bunch of passages to go back to later in order to add to the bottom of this review. So if you'd like to read some of those, check out the "My favorite passages" section below. However, while there was plenty of humor and wit, there was also a layer of seriousness and many darker topics that were woven throughout the story.

I thought that the authors writing style was so wonderful. Sometimes the beginnings of a chapter would seem a bit off, almost like it was a weird rambling, but then suddenly it would flow perfectly back into the storyline. Let me tell you, I LOVE when authors can pull this off! The only other person I have seen do this successfully is Daniel Handler (or Lemony Snicket). A great example of this is Chapter 18, where the passage begins discussing luck seemingly on a tangent before it seamlessly moves back into Ian's storyline.

The storyline was organized in a very awesome way that kept me guessing about what would happen next. I was still guessing up to the very last page! I loved that we cycled through different perspectives of each character. And the characters themselves were well developed! I loved that we got to learn more about each of them as the story progressed both through their own perspectives and the perspectives of other characters.

I loved the transitions between chapters. One of my favorites was when John and Nash were planning to take a private jet back home in one chapter. Then in the next chapter, which was titled "Flight 44,"  two pigeons learned how to fly.

I also really enjoyed the amount of detail that this author added to the storyline. Some of this I was a bit slow to pick up on, but some I got right away!  Here is one example... As a reader we knew that the substance that had the ability to alter a person's soul was called Emorfed. In one chapter we learn that the two pigeons have named their siblings Emma and Fred. Then, there was this:
"Em or Fred," muttered Sandy slowly, several times over and over again.
"Those two, remember I call them EM and FRED," replied Ian, even more slowly as if talking to an idiot.
"I've got this word Em-or-fed circling around me. It's something important but I can't work it out. Does it mean anything to you, Ian?"

I didn't make the Em and Fred/Emorfed connection until right then when it was all laid out for me! Phew!

Sometimes I struggle with sic-fi because I get a bit lost in the explanation. But the sci-fi elements here were very well written. Everything was explained in a way that made sense to an everyday reader like me. Nothing seemed to go over my head, and nothing seemed too far fetched.

Finally, I have to mention the cover. It's so clever. When I first saw it, I was immediately drawn to it. But only once you have read the book, will each element of the cover make sense. Genius!

My favorite passages:
If this man wasn’t away with the fairies he was most certainly waiting patiently in the departure lounge clutching his boarding pass.

The first noticeable thing about him was that he was smoking. Not the conventional human way. The smoke was coming out of his skin, a composition of solid and molten rock that burnt with the intensity of the sun. The man’s smile showed off his chiseled, pumice rock teeth and as a result a small crack opened across his stone face releasing a small line of lava. Even though he was made entirely of rock most of the normal human characteristics were present.

There was never even a close compromise between people with sacred views, the two subjects having divided generations of scholars and beer drinkers alike.

When he reached ‘Conference Room C’ the door was ajar and a man sat typing violently into a laptop computer. Frustrated with the instrument, he tapped the keys in an over-dramatic fashion as if they might respond better to force.

As much as he was finding it hard to accept his surroundings, he couldn’t but be annoyed that he was being mocked by a pile of mud.

“Emotion is not what makes us weak, Brimstone. It’s what makes us human. The ability to care, even if people often do not.”

It was a beautiful May morning in Buckinghamshire. The warm sunlight shone down upon the wooded valley bathing it in a shower of golden glitter that played hide and seek with bush and thicket. The spring plumage that covered twig and branch was a kaleidoscope of pastel shades. Flowers of red, yellow, white and blue quivered in the brisk wind and danced in time to a secret melody.

Sandy stopped in his tracks overcome by the strength of her perfume, a sickly aroma so potent that it must have been hosed on to her using a water cannon.

A widely accepted opinion on modern day Earth is that you make your own luck. Yet the word luck is still used frequently when something unplanned or improbable happens. Often combined with a friendly expletive, the word might be used when a golfer hits a ball straight into the hole from a hundred yards. That would be seen to be lucky, yet paradoxically if that same shot had landed an inch from the hole it might be greeted with consolation and cries of, ‘bad luck.’

It was about ten o’clock in the evening but the bright full moon tricked the night’s sky into believing it was much earlier.

Dressed like he’d just left an expensive gentlemen’s club, a gold pocket watch and chain swung from his double breasted suit jacket that peeked out from his long coat, as his gleaming shoes were in competition with the moon itself.

A gaze of such utter confusion it resembled someone struggling with an unfathomable mathematics calculation or the age old riddle of why women needed so many shoes?

“One man’s view of right is alien to someone with opposing opinions."

Real power is facing up to your problems when you want to hide from them. Real power is picking yourself up from a fall and redoubling your efforts. Real power is the strength to choose what is right.

My final thoughts:
The author told me that, "The Limpet Syndrome doesn’t really have a natural ‘wheelhouse’ but sits in everyone’s ‘odd space’ that most of us have!" And I 100% agree. I would very highly recommend this book to those that don't mind reads that are a bit strange!

I will warn readers that this was a bit of a slow read, but I do not say that with any negativity at all! It was just a denser book than I usually read, so it took me more time to read. And I absolutely loved every second of it! Five stars!


  1. Ohh great review Erica I do love sci-fi books and this one really looks and sounds absolutely amazing and right up my alley. Thank you so much for the awesome post.

    1. Yay!! I hope you love it when you are able to get your hands on a copy! :)

  2. Great review! I add lots of post it notes and sticky tabs to my books when I'm reading them, too!

    "A bit out of my wheelhouse" - I love that expression!

    1. Thank you! Oh my gosh, isn't it wonderful to use post its?! They're so handy. :)