Author: Jeff Sweat
Page Count: 356
Thank you JKS Communications for sending me a finished copy of Mayfly to review.
Jemma is a gatherer in The Holy Wood, where girls become Mamas at fifteen and boys become their protectors, called Muscle. They spend their lives trying to survive and keep the population growing because every one dies at the age of seventeen. But as Jemma learns that she has actual feelings for a Muscle named Apple, she wants to spend a long life with him, so they set out to find what causes The End. With the help of an Exile, Pico, who claims to know how The End was caused, they leave their home in The Holy Wood and venture out into lands that have been forbidden. As the encounter cannibals and last lifers, they will do whatever they can to learn what happened to this world.
First off, the premise of this book sounds awesome! I was excited to learn what could possibly end the lives of people at the very young age of seventeen. But the ending was so disappointing. I attempted reading this book last month in July, and I only got 30 pages in and had to put down. It was boring and so hard to read because I didn’t like the writing. I also don’t like the the names of everything. They used terms like ‘Olders’, ‘Muscle’, ‘Mamas’, ‘medsen’, which is suppose to be medicine. The setting is a future Hollywood, which is where the name Holy Wood comes from. I guess they are so far in the future that the names of things have become shortened and changed. I found it to be quite unoriginal and I thought I kept reading typos.
The story gave me vibes from Lord of the Flies and The 100. Since the setting was in LA, I didn’t understand all of the references. I’ve never been to California but I tried my best. There is a place called The Kingdom, which I think was a theme park. Possibly Disneyland. There was so much info dumping in the beginning of the book, that I was very confused by all the names of the different people and what was going on. The story is also told in a couple of different viewpoints and at the beginning it’s a lot of different people. The characters were hard to picture since I can’t recall any descriptions of them. Jemma and Apple have grown up together and are just friends but within the first few chapters they are suddenly in love. Sometimes instalove is okay, if it is done the correct way and we get a little bit of a build up. But three chapters is not enough. None of the characters were interesting to me and by the time we reach the death of someone, I really didn’t care.
I do wish this book had a map in it, because there is a lot of traveling around to different places and a map would have been so useful so that I could picture it better in my head. It was hard to pinpoint all of the places that were mentioned. I also had an issue with The Holy Wood. I don’t think that the girls have a choice in becoming a Mama and obviously rape is not tolerable but forcing a girl to become a mother, essentially sounds like rape to me. I really hate how The Holy Wood is set up and how nobody is interested about finding out what happened at The End, besides our main characters. Their is another element of the book that I am still completely confused about. Jemma possesses something magical that she calls The Haze. It shows her how to survive and fight and what to do and I’m really lost as to how this works, to be honest.
I’m clearly in the minority with my negative review of Mayfly because it has glowing reviews on Goodreads. So, while I personally wouldn’t recommend it, I’d say check it out for yourself. If the premise sounds interesting enough and you like the simple terms of this future LA, then give it a go.