I received The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner in one of my OwlCrate boxes. I immediately thought that I wasn’t going to like it. I totally judge by the cover and I had no interest in this one. I’m not sure if I’m ever going to learn my lesson because The Serpent King is going to be a book that sticks with me for a long time.
The Serpent King covers a lot of ground. There’s a little bit of everything in here for everybody: how people compartmentalize you from a young age, poverty, self doubt, life changes for the good and the bad, abuse, escapism, and death. Yeah. Like I said pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. I didn’t really put much stock into the book being this deep until it broke my damn heart.
I think out of the three I identified most with Travis. I’m sure there a lot of us bookworms who can say that we’ve used fiction to escape our reality and that sometimes it even caused a bit of an obsession. I know that I never obsessed about my fictional favorites like Travis did but I can tell you that I’ve often had full blown fantasies about what it would be like to actually live in a world found on the pages. So yeah, I totally identified with Travis.
The Serpent King is told from three different perspectives: Lydia, Dill, and Travis. I’ve seen this story telling technique go really well and I’ve seen it go really bad. Zentner does it beautifully. I was able to get to know all three characters through the other two. And the other two characters managed to have differing thoughts about the same person! *gasp* I know.
Dill had so much character growth over the course of the story and I wish I could hug him in real life. (Of course this isn’t helping my earlier statement re: obsession……) Of course watching Lydia, Dill, and Travis define themselves and discover who they wanted to be within their world was so great. I loved it.
If not for OwlCrate, I wouldn’t have picked up this book. I know that this book isn’t going to be for everyone but I ask that you give it a shot. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did.
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