The Blue

The Blue - Scott  Kelly I was eager to read Scott Kelly's latest release, The Blue. I was left stunned by [SIC], so I could not resist. Initially, I was worried that my expectations for the The Blue would be too high. Fortunately, Kelly proved me wrong and has now left me with the hard task of reviewing this book without sounding like a fanatic. I loved it. It comprised of a fast-paced plot that left me on the edge - the epitome of a thriller.Derek Weaver is your typical aspiring artist who seems to have no ambition in his life. Though he is what many would deem an insignificant slob, he is a very intriguing character. This can be attributed to all the conflicts he has to endure. He has to deal with face-blindness, heavy guilt, a stalker, alcoholism, an ex-wife, a lawsuit, and his overall failures in life. Sounds like an unlucky guy, eh? Thankfully, Kelly did not use Derek's woes to tug at my heart string. A lot of authors attempt to force you to feel sorry for a character to keep your attention. Kelly is a realist, he "ain't got no time for that". Instead, he presents the gritty truth, leaving the reader to neutrally decide how to react. Using this method is what makes books like The Blue a riveting philosophical read.Since this is a short book, I must say I was impressed with the characters in The Blue. They are not added merely as fillers or entertainers, rather each character is meticulously placed to accentuate the reflective nature of the novel. This is evident in the characterization of Derek's lawyer, Mr. Grayson and his doctor, Eli. These two characters offer their own beliefs of life which leaves room for pondering - something Kelly wants his readers to do. For instance, Mr. Grayson blatantly states his view of life to Derek. He declares: "...there's only one real force in this universe, and that's chaos...Anything can come and ruin your life's work. Life sucks like that, and people don't want to believe it." (Location 1831 of 4777) Not only do these characters portray their stance in their dialogue, but in their actions as well. You can see that especially with Dr. Eli.He's a funny man.What really made The Blue a gripping read though is its paramount writing style. It is enveloped in first-person narrative which allows readers to experience what it is like to be Derek. His impairment made this perspective even more unique because without recognizing faces he is unable to sense when danger, in the form of a crazed stalker, is right in front of him. At times, I wished I was able to tap him on the shoulder and steer him to safety. I guess that rectifies how attached I became to Derek. Another unique twist is that Derek is also a "bad guy". He is being charged for vehicular manslaughter. This outtake proved to be refreshing as I got to see how it felt to be held responsible for killing innocent people, to be frowned upon for something you vaguely remember. I liked that whenever a surviving relative is introduced, the atmosphere of the book fills with a tension that you can slice. This "victimizer" point of view was interesting.Another impressive element of The Blue is its expert use of figurative language. Honestly, I really looked forward to this in the book because of its predecessor, [sic]. The eponymous color motif is not hard to miss. It manifests itself in the sky, Derek's memory, and police uniforms. The significance of this motif is probably connected to the moral basis of the story, and I feel that Kelly probably has left it for us to further interpret. There is also compelling imagery. For instance, the description of the accident as it happened left me fearful. It really made the book open with a bang. Then there are the countless metaphors that make the most banal descriptions examples of beautiful prose.Once again, Kelly has left me questioning human nature, morality and life's spontaneity. What is wrong or right? Do we really need order if life is just a chaotic and deranged symphony? You might ask similar, thoughtful questions after delving into The Blue.Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.