The characters in The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer have to face things that would scare the crap out of anyone. What would you do if everyone around you suddenly disappeared? I don’t mean just the people you know. I mean everyone. Martin Maple has always lived a mostly solitary life – so it takes him awhile to fully understand the significance of being completely alone. When he begins his travels to the only place left in the world with living people, he has no idea what is coming.
Before I go any further, I just have to say one thing. Internet made with wood and string. You guys! How incredibly awesome is that? A kid in The Only Ones makes a form of the internet with wood tablets connected by string. I almost swooned with the creativity of it all. Very cool.
The Only Ones takes on the form of post-apocalyptic fable. Sometimes I felt a lack of connection to the characters. I never lost interest in the plot – but the characters added more quirkiness and creativity to the story than actual people to root for. Normally I would find this a deal breaker – but Aaron Starmer has created something really special here, y’all. Despite the fact that I never fell for Martin or any of the people in his life, I completely fell for The Only Ones.
Despite the faults, I found it to be a celebration of reading. Definitely a book to pick up for every book lover! Check out the description of Martin Marple discovering reading for the first time:
It became an addiction. At first he took one book a night…but after a couple of weeks, he was demanding three or four. All day he would sit on the rock outcropping and read about pirates and doctors and magicians and lots of people who kissed and lots of people who killed and lots of people whose lives changed in an instant. As far as Martin was concerned, all the books were classics, because they were all full of such surprises. They distracted him from life.
Seriously. The cleverness, originality and imagination of Aaron Starmer staggers me. The Only Ones might be odd. It might be hard to completely process it all. But it is an incredible story.
I highly recommend that you take this journey with Martin (and his mysterious machine)!
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