The Warlow Experiment - Alix Nathan

Powyss is a scientist, he likes to observe plants and flowers and work out how their environment best effects them but he needs more. That is where Warlow comes in. He gets paid £50.00 a year to live alone, with no sunlight or interaction in Powyss' cellar for seven years starting in 1793. Whilst he is below Powyss is above observing every request and noise from Warlow trying to perfectly establish what makes people tick.


I was so excited to read this as the concept is a mix of weird kidnap and science based theory that sounded so interesting. Opening pages were good enough and the beginning opened up a real possibility for a great narrative. There was little attempt to establish each characters personality and we rely on the differing dialect to create a persona for each character. Through this we only establish that Warlow is a lesser human than Powyss due to his lower intellect and ability to speak. I find this a cop-out for good characterisation and this follow through all the way to page 117 where I tapped out.


For a majority of the time I was reading I was not enjoying it. The main character being so science focused meant there was so much terminology that I skipped straight over because it was too much padding. Scientific jargon took away from the actual story itself to the point it was difficult keeping track of each character. This was also aided by the poor chapter layout. There were multiple 'parts' to the story, chapters within the parts, but each chapter separated with larger line breaks to change the perspective of the narrator. These breaks in chapter disguise that the chapters are super long and not much happens at all.


I was so excited about this book as the concept was so intriguing but the execution was poor. The physical book was beautiful and insider cover pages are wallpaper worthy, but that it about the only thing I can provide a positive response on. I'm truly heartbroken because the book should be and could be so much better!



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