Book Review: Master of Emotion by D. Ogden Huff

Author:  D. Ogden Huff
Pages:  279
Format: Kindle/ebook
Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services (December 2011)
Category:  Young Adult Speculative Fiction
Style:  Page-turner

YA speculative fiction isn't usually my thing (I usually go for meatier fare), but I've been devouring a lot of different books lately and the premise of this plot seemed intriguing.  I confess, once I got to the action sequences, I couldn't put it down until the climax resolved. Unfortunately, that was 4:30am.

Ms. Huff does a pretty good job of capturing the emotional walls built up by an isolated teenager, as well as his starvation for human contact and blossoming of character when he finally connects with someone he trusts.  I also liked the camaraderie between Beau and his twin brother, Bryce, his lifeline to humanity until Rose helps him break out of his shell.

Reading it brought to mind another YA speculative fiction book I read this year, Sting, by B.J. Rowley.  I review that book here.  The premises are very similar: outsider boy shuns physical contact until "new girl" who doesn't know better, they make a connection, danger and skullduggery ensue.  I won't draw further similarities so as not to spoil the plot.  Despite the familiar ring, the plot stands well on its own in both originality and execution.  Ms. Huff's voice is her own, and she draws out the disparate sensibilities of her various characters with skill.

One sidebar:  Ms. Ogden begins on page one with a note to the reader about the "soundtrack" to her book, offering suggestions of music she enjoys, as well as Internet links to the various artists.  I shrugged.  Whatever.  However, scattered throughout the book are more prompts to more websites for more music.  I found this very distracting and detracting from her story.  Great for a supplemental website—for a book, not so much.

When I read, I like to be submersed in the tale, flowing smoothly from scene to scene playing out in my head.  Jarring me to the surface with these prompts left me coughing and sputtering and gasping for air.  Perhaps her target audience is different.  Plugged in as they are, wired for sound, they probably are, but when I read, block out all other sound so I can hear the voices speaking in my head.

Final Word: I liked this book and look forward to reading the sequel, Supreme Chancellor of Stupidity.

FTC disclaimer:  An electronic copy of this book was provided to me by the author or their agent with the understanding I would provide a fair and honest review.  I receive no other compensation for this content.

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