Review of Uncanny by Sarah Fine

Uncanny is the story of Cora and how she has to both come to terms with the death of her stepsister and the fact that she was the only person with her when she died under suspicious circumstances.  In a future world where everything is recorded and mainstreamed the events of that night are nowhere to be found.  With Cora unravelling under the pressure of blame it is up to those around her to both protect and exonerate her, even if that comes from the most unusual of sources.

Uncanny covers a lot of difficult themes, I was reminded a lot about 13 Reasons Why with the passive aggressive bullying suffered by Cora and the attempts at humiliation and playing on fragile mental health.  Cora is a very broken young girl, thrown into a world of excess and struggles to keep her head above water, never fitting in with the popular crowd her new sister inhabits.  Our smartphones scarily have become part of us, installed in our heads, never being able to escape the constant messages, video feeds and recordings.  AI is all around, ready to catch the parts that you don’t want others to see, which makes the journey to uncover Hannah’s murderer all the more difficult when this fail safe apparently fails.

The story plays out in 2 POV’s, Cora’s and then also a retrospective with different video clips being reviewed of Cora and her step sister Hannah’s interactions.  It’s these retrospectives which I struggled with at the start.  The flow of them didn’t really work for me, there was no change in font or formatting to indicate video clip conversation versus the inner narrative of the person viewing the video file and I often found myself reading in Cora’s voice when I shouldn’t have been. That being said as new characters were introduced and clips starting catching up to present day, I found the voice that I needed to differentiate.

I did find Uncanny very difficult in the start, if it wasn’t for the fact I had committed to a review I probably would have put it down before I got to the good stuff.  I’m glad I did persevere though as I did find it quite the page turner at the end as it became an intense murder mystery thriller, with some very shocking twists.

Note: This title is currently available for pre-order and will be released on the 3rd October.