Book Review: Vinyl by Sophia Elaine Hanson
This was one of those books that sucked me in because of a gorgeous cover (or covers, as I saw the entire series all at once and all of the cover photos are amazing) and then had me sold as soon as I learned about the premise. In this case, that premise is pretty simple: a dystopian world where music is used by those in power to subdue and control the population. As basic as that premise might sound, it's an intriguing one, so I dove right into this with great enthusiasm.
I loved how that simple concept carried over into every aspect of the story and impacted not only the way the characters interact with their society, but also other key aspects of the world and plot in ways both big and small, from the way rebellion develops to the way the enemy seeks to enforce greater control over the population and even right down to the way characters speak. It's a really interesting concept, and the author did a good job of weaving details into the setting in imaginative ways to make it feel more authentic.
I also loved the characters and was engaged with them throughout the story. There were some who I wish had been fleshed out a little more or who I wish I had gotten to know a little better throughout the story, but hey, that's what sequels are for, right? Although there were a few tiny parts of the story that kind of broke my suspension of disbelief or seemed to not quite fit with the information we had been given before, they were just small things and didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story.
One of the biggest strengths of this book is the writing itself. The author has a couple of poetry books out as well, and there is poetry and song used in this book (entirely fitting given the musical themes). Some of that poeticism is woven into the narrative as well in descriptions and the emotional experiences of the characters, but it's never done in such a way that it feels overly flowery or out of place. The writing style works really well and made for a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. I look forward to reading more about this world and these characters in the next two books.