The Foggiest Notion
Volume 1 (The Cryptic Chronicles)
by Marc Breman
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Pub Date 13 Jun 2019 | Archive Date 08 Jul 2019
An engrossing adventure set in a compelling world of word games and crossword puzzles
They arrived on the last stroke of midnight, eleven of them, moving as one. Had it been anywhere else they would have been seen, but they weren’t. Their size should have activated earthquake-monitoring stations, but they didn’t, no one was aware of their presence – yet. Their speed and actions showed they had an intent, a focus, a date with destiny.
Colin Holly was an average kind of chap, nondescript, in fact, he was practically invisible in his daily routine. He was the sort of person you couldn’t help but fail to notice as you went to the newsagent’s or popped to the local shops. The only thing that really distinguished Holly was his love of crosswords, the more cryptic the better.
Today was no ordinary day, though Holly had no idea what lay ahead – if he’d had he would probably have gone back to bed. Today he suddenly became aware of three things, one of which was a noise, a low rumble in the distance that was gradually getting louder and was starting to make the furniture shake . . .
About the Author
MARC BREMAN worked for many years as a professional guitarist, including playing lead guitar for Donovan at Wembley Stadium, before becoming a professional crossword puzzle compiler. He has set more than 30,000 crosswords over 30 years for national newspapers and magazines, including the final puzzle in the News of the World. Marc Breman lives in London, and still plays in bandswhen he is not writing. The Foggiest Notion is the first book in the Cryptic Chronicles series.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 9 members
This is such an interesting and captivating read! Colin is possibly one of the better written characters I've had the pleasure of meeting!
I am terrified of giving spoilers but the twisty and fantastic take Mr. Breman spins is going to be keeping me up! I cant wait to read more and watch the character arc!
I'm only marking 4 stars because I did have a hard time binge reading with such a heavy and creative writing style, once I adjusted to it I loved it and expect the next book will be a solid 5 star.
The Foggiest Notion is the beginning of the experiences of Colin Holly, a reclusive character who is a cryptic crossword buff who finds a new purpose in a strange team The storyline is very interesting, and the adventures of The Team are very entertaining - I do not want to give anything away, so it is hard to elaborate. The writing in this novel is terribly English. I am not sure how else to describe it, and I do not mean it in an offensive way, but there is a particular cadence to English writing which is very apparent in this novel. At times, this also means we are not able to get as close to the characters as I usually like - I do like to be able to fully invest in characters, particularly in a series. One of the most disconcerting things I found (not being English!) was the constant use of the main character's last name to refer to him, rather than his first name. It took a while to put 'Holly' together with this very reserved, reclusive, people-shy main character. At no time did it ever feel comfortable - I actually had to keep reminding myself 'Holly' is the man, and seemed to keep a barrier between reader and character, as if we would not ever be able to know him enough to use his first name. Otherwise, the novel is full of quirky and fun characters. While I have never been a cryptic crossword fan - only because I never understood how they worked! - it was fascinating to learn more about how they work, as well as the adventures they bring to Colin Holly.
Rating: 3.5 stars.
The Foggiest Notion is an unusual book one might find hiding in the YA section. It doesn't have the writing style one expects to find from YA, and it doesn't have a generic cookie cutter plot either. Overall, I enjoyed the book and will look out for its sequel. I might also pick up a newspaper and try to solve a crossword, who knows XP
What I liked:
The Foggiest Notion is reminiscent of modern classics like White Fang, Black Beauty, Paddington Bear, and Winnie-the-Pooh. It's incredibly clever, full of codes and anagrams and clues used to solve a crossword. I thought that there couldn't be anything more boring than a book solely about a 40-something-year-old man solving a crossword, but I ended up interested in the crossword itself and how the words were all solved.
What I didn't like:
The style is a bit tricky to get into. It's a little slow, a little bit messy, and can be confusing at times. There's also quite a number of occasions where the author shows rather than tells (although you get used to it after a while). Like I said before, it's also not your average YA novel. While this came as a pleasant surprise to me, others might not enjoy it so much after finding out the only young adult in the novel is a teenager (who does play an important part, though).
The Foggiest Notion by Marc Breman reminded of Jumanji except for a dice rolling card game, the main characters use cross word puzzles to solve riddles. I had no idea that cross word puzzles could be so difficult to solve. As for fk ding the lyrics to the song embedded in the story....I’m still looking... this book would be great for people who have a knack tIn figuring out what clues mean