Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him.
But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: in the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man – the school’s groundskeeper – knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the centre of the storm.
The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen was a really enjoyable start to a new series. It was original and well-written enough to keep me going through all 500 pages, without boring me.
Now, I don’t have anything against long books (in fact, some of favourite books are long!), but whenever I’m reading a book over 400 pages, I get the feeling that a lot of it is just filler content. Most of the time, I’m reading it and thinking to myself “That’s all very well, but I didn’t really need to know this.” Unfortunately, I found this happening quite a lot with this book. It was interesting, but more than once I thought there were a few scenes that didn’t really need to be there, and a few characters I could very well have done without. Although, I realise this is just the first book, and they may yet become more important throughout the rest of the series, I had a hard time keeping up with all the secondary characters and minor plot points and thought they made the book slightly heavier to go through than it could have been.
BUT. I really, really liked the main characters. The five friends at the centre of the story were really great to read about. I particularly loved how they actually did study while in college: finally some students who actually spend some time in the library! They did feel like real boys and girls, with their own well-defined personalities and dreams for the future. I particularly loved Allison, our MC’s best friend. She is smart and tough, and will do anything it takes for her friends. If I’m completely honest, actually, I have to say that out of all of them, Felix (the MC) was probably my least favourite. I mean, sure he has had a tough experience and everything, but most of the time he just seemed completely clueless as to what was going on around him.
Plot-wise, I can’t say it was all completely original and new to me. There were some plot twists that did not surprise me at all, and quite a few chosen-one cliches going around. But I still enjoyed reading this book, and there were some reinterpretations of those cliches and enough original elements to actually make it a good read. And I am curious to see how Felix’s story will pan out in the following books!