I enjoyed this book, but felt it only really got going in the second half.
There is a really good story here, with a core concept that’s incredibly interesting once you reach it. However, I don’t feel that the set up and initial feel of the book gels that well with the second, much better, half.
I feel the first half of the book could have been half as long and a lot more focused. I love Jones’ style, but it took me ages to get into the story to a point where I wanted to carry on.
But once you get through that, the second half is really worth working through for. The concept for the climax is really interesting. I would have loved to have the opening more focused around this rather than taking so long with character development that could have done with a lit of streamlining.
One thing I want to say is there is a massive improvement to the other of Jones’ books I’ve read. When I read his first novel, The String Diaries, I was disappointed by the tacked on happy ending. Sometimes a dark story needs to be brave enough to have a dark ending. And, without wanting to give too much away, The Disciple has an ending that perfectly matches the tone.
So not a great opening, but definitely worth pushing through until it focuses and pulls you in.