Human X tells the story of Ael, a mysterious man who mysteriously survives a nasty disease and is mysteriously blind (these things are all related). This is the first story to take a decidedly supernatural turn, and I like it. The horror elements are more muted than they probably would have been if this book hadn’t been specifically meant for a YA audience, but they are there and strongly enough to do their job.
Human X is also the first story in the collection told in the first person. I feel pretty ‘meh’ about first person, it’s never really been my thing, but by the end of the story I could see the reason for it. It’s still not a voice I like reading, but it was necessary to tell this particular story, and Michelle Fox does it better than most.
One thing I’m having to remind myself of over and over again while reading this book is that the stories are stand alone items. I was thinking about how the evil creatures in this story were going to fit in down the road, but they don’t need to, do they? There are enough shared elements from story to story that it’s easy to forget they actually aren’t interconnected in any meaningful way.
I think that’s pretty neat.
The book is available at Lulu.com in paperback and e-book formats. The e-book is no longer free, but all proceeds from either format go to Water is Life, so you should buy it. It is also available at Barnes and Noble as paperback and for the Nook, and at Amazon (paperback only, e-book coming soon).