Book Review: 'The Seventh Wave' by Paul Garrety

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Review: The Seventh Wave / Written by: Paul Garrety / Published by: HarperCollins Publishers / Release date: Out Now

“Take a thief, a witch and a journo. Then...strange things happen.”

The Seventh Wave is a paranormal thriller set, for the most part, in Australia. When a mystery virus spreads through a worldwide group of “good” wizards called The Helix, preventing them from accessing their magical abilities, it falls to an old witch called Freda to prevent an insidious organisation known as “The Club” from regaining possession of an artifact called The Plate. In order to achieve her aims, she recruits female journalist, Sam Goodman, and professional thief, Callum MacCallum to help her protect The Plate from the evil Cervantes and his minions, who want it to bring forth a race of Elder Gods into the bodies of the worlds most rich and powerful people.

I’ll admit, this book was a struggle at first. It’s not exactly a small novel, racking in at around 500 pages, and the first hundred or so of those were quite a slog to get through. The plot seemed to be all over the place, and I struggled to relate to almost all of the characters, with the exception of Freda the witch and “Maggy” who is, for want of a better description, a sentient, magical , walking stick.

Then, once things settled down a bit, I found myself quite enjoying the book. Mostly, anyway. There were some good action sequences, with lots of well described magical spells flying around and the hint of an interesting story beginning to unfold. I became invested in most of the characters (with the exception of Sam, the journalist, who was, for the most part, a pointless, annoying distraction from the plot).

There were a few issues, if I’m honest. Apart from Sam, who’s absence from the book would probably have shaved about 100 pages off the total and would not have impacted the story one bit, there were a few other disposable characters who received minimal development. A few plot threads were set up that didn’t seem to go anywhere and, as I mentioned before, the most interesting characters were a couple of the peripheral ones. Even Callum, the protagonist, didn’t seem to behave in a consistent manner and there were times that I was mystified at the way he reacted to things. There were also a few places, early on, where I had a horrible sneaking suspicion that this was going to turn into a paranormal romance novel, although thankfully, it didn’t. There were also a lot of missed opportunities, where we were told about things, rather than seeing them. The prime example of this is Karalla, the alleged “vampire” referred to in the rear blurb. She seduces men, then absorbs their bodies and souls. Or so we are told. You never actually get to see this happening. Finally, the ending left me cold, because, while things were being set up for the second book in the series, it meant that nothing was really resolved.

Don’t get me wrong. The Seventh Wave was not awful. Cervantes made an interesting, effective villain, and the world described within the books pages was intriguing. I will probably pick up the second book in the series when it comes out, if for no other reason to make sense of the whole thing.

I have read worse books of late, and have read worse books in this genre, but there is very little that makes The Seventh Wave stand out in the crowd. It’s a mediocre book, that’s enjoyable enough if you can get past the first few plodding chapters. I just hope that the next one in the series is a bit better and does justice to the world described here.

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