Hi! Today’s blog post is very exciting, as it’s my stop on the blog tour for The Arc by Ben Oliver! When Chicken House reached out about this blog tour, I was so quick to say yes because The Loop and The Block were two of my absolute favourite reads of last year. So, first things first, thank you to Chicken House for the early copy and the opportunity to be part of such an exciting blog tour 🙂
Before I share my thoughts on The Arc, feel free to check out my blog tour reviews for books one and two here.
Synopsis of The Arc (please note, there will be some spoilers for books one and two below):
Luka Kane is dead, executed in front of a crowd of Alts who cheered despite the fact that the truth of their oppressive leaders had been revealed to them.
But one Alt, Chester “Chilly” Beckett, did not celebrate; his eyes have been opened to the truth. Luka’s corpse is dragged away, but Chester remains determined to find out what is going on in the Laboratory on the 65th floor.
There, he finds three subjects tortured in an attempt to extract a regeneration formula… and one of the subjects is, impossibly, a face he never thought he’d seen again. A bold escape sets in motion a race against time as Happy’s plans to release planet-eating nano-bots into the world draw nearer. The Loop team must reassemble, survive Happy’s final attempts to rid the world of the rebels, and figure out how to halt the apocalypse before humanity is destroyed.
This book is everything I hoped it would be after the ending of The Block. The plot twists made me scream, and the introduction of an Alt as a protagonist added such a fascinating perspective that we didn’t really explore in the first two books. Chester was fascinating as he developed, from his very first appearance on page one when he realised what he was doing but was not entirely sure why he was doing it.
It was also really great to see so many familiar faces from the rest of the trilogy, including one in particular that I’m sure readers of books one and two would be especially thrilled about. One of my favourite things about this series is just how much the characters grew throughout the first two books, and it was great to see this progression as they took on Happy one final time in The Arc. It was as action-packed as I hoped, full of futuristic tech, and a great ending to a really enjoyable trilogy.
Now onto the most best part of the post! Thank you very much to Ben Oliver for providing the following fascinating insight into where he writes:
“Where I Write” – Ben Oliver
I’ll be honest, I’ve answered this question in the past and made something up about liking to write at my office at home because it’s comfortable and I know where everything is, but the truth is kind of boring: I’ll write anywhere!
I quite like writing in hotel rooms, I don’t know why but I always find myself getting lost in the world when I write in hotel rooms, maybe it’s because I’m staying somewhere so unfamiliar that my work-in-progress is a little bit of familiarity and comfort to cling on to.
I also like writing in cafes and coffee shops (I wrote most of The Arc in a Starbucks in a retail park next to a gigantic Tesco). I think the background noise of a cafe is somehow great for focusing my mind and cutting out distractions. I don’t like writing to music (especially songs with lyrics), but I do like the background hum of a coffee shop.
I’ll write in my car if I have long wait to pick someone up. Sometimes I stay late and write after work (I’m a teacher of young people with additional support needs), I can write in waiting rooms, at the beach, on trains, planes, boats. I think my final answer is, I’ll write anywhere, I just love writing, as difficult as it can be, as infuriating as it can be, I love it and I’ll do it anywhere. And the best part is I can do it anywhere because writing is not only the act of putting words on the page, it’s the act of imagining the characters, figuring out the plot, building the world, coming up with twists and turns, figuring out arcs, adding little details that bring it to life, and that can be done (sometimes literally) in your sleep.
And that’s it! If you’ve read The Loop, The Block or The Arc, I would love to hear your thoughts – and I highly recommend you check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour as well for some wonderful reviews and some other great posts from Ben Oliver 🙂