The Colony


Fiction - Social Issues
143 Pages
Reviewed on 01/05/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Nanette L. Avery is an excellent dart player and international film enthusiast. Her journey as a writer has captured the attention of readers and reviewers alike. Her novel, Orphan in America, earned distinction as one of the “Best Indie Books” of the year from Kirkus Reviews. Drawing upon her experiences and the backdrop of life growing up in the Virgin Islands, she is an eclectic author who transcends many genres. Nanette lives outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and orange cat.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

The Colony by Nanette L. Avery is a deep dive into the psyche of a disturbed young boy. It all started for the boy with a note telling him to meet someone at The Bell Jar. Not even knowing what a bell jar was, the boy was confused and it was only after asking his mother that he discovered The Bell Jar was actually the title of a famous book written by Sylvia Plath. So began his introduction to Frito and the colony. The colony was a group of children who were in some way abused by their parents but had somehow resolved the situation that was causing them grief. Frito assured the boy that there were many of them out there, just like him. Both the boy and his sister were caught up in a life that was not good for any child. With no sign of their father and a drug-addict, alcoholic mother whose biggest concern was her massive garden-plot, inside the house, where she grew her cannabis that she sold, the children were lacking any real supervision, love, or parental concern. With the help of the old man next door, affectionately known as the dragon, a friendly tramp, and of course the boys of the colony, Yoshi and his sister were determined to find a way to end their mother’s abuse and lack of concern, once and for all – but, things don’t always go quite to plan, now do they?

With more than a passing nod to Psycho and Norman Bates, I found The Colony to be a fascinating and at times mesmerizing read. Nanette L. Avery does a superb job of building her two main characters, the young boy and his sister, almost to the point of forgetting that they were mere children as one reads the story. I was captivated by the character of the dragon and was able to picture quite a few similar characters to him that I’d come across over the years. Although the story was a little short for my liking, what it lacked in substance it certainly made up for in the punch it packed. The thought processes of the young boy were readily identifiable and empathy for their plight was easy to conjure up. Once I was able to come to terms with what the story entailed, it flowed beautifully and was an easy and enjoyable read. I haven’t read anything from this author previously but will definitely be keeping an eye out for her work in the future. This was an excellent read, with a fascinating premise, and one I can highly recommend.

Risah Salazar

Yoshi and his sister, Saachi, are forced to grow up quickly - thanks to their irresponsible mother. Soon enough, a boy named Frito finds Yoshi and gives him a note. The next thing Yoshi knows, he is a member of The Colony. At last, Yoshi feels he has more people in his life to whom he can relate and trust, other than his sister, of course. Members of The Colony share a common suffering, and each of them must do something about it to set them free. With the help of a mysterious neighbor and a dubious street-sleeper friend, Yoshi and Saachi accomplish their goal. The Colony by Nanette L. Avery is a dark young adult read that is sure to perplex your thinking and captivate your imagination.

The Colony by Nanette L. Avery has a very interesting plot. I have never read anything like this before and I'd like to commend the author for such an authentic and fresh concept. I like reading books with dark themes but this is definitely a new kind of dark. To be honest, the whole idea is so new to me that I found it weird and a little bit uncomfortable to read at first, but it got exciting and more understandable as I read along. Trigger warnings include drugs/alcohol, profanity, animal deaths, murder, hazing, and dysfunctional parents. I highly recommend The Colony by Nanette L. Avery to lovers of YA mystery and suspense.

Judith Rook

The Colony by Nanette L. Avery is a book demanding the reader’s attention from the outset. Although it tells the story of two early adolescent children in the inadequate care of a drug-addicted, cannabis-dealing mother, it deals with a strange reality that unfolds as the short novel progresses. Slightly in the style of a bildungsroman, the plot centers on the growing understanding of the early teenage youth that the adult morality surrounding his existence is faulty, and that he is almost obliged to do something about it. He meets boys his own age who seem to share his problem and, desperate for adult contact he can trust, he admits a homeless man into his life. A fascinating irony is built into the plot in the character of a neighbor, who could possibly help the boy and his sister deal with their circumstances if he himself was willing to accept responsibility for other human beings—which he is not.

The Colony is cleverly structured, and although the plot is based on psychological darkness, there is humor and light to be found in unexpected places. Annette L. Avery knows how to use detail—even to describing the contents of a garbage can—as a highly effective tool in the development of the storyline, and the full truth about the boy’s young friends and the colony they have created is held in suspense throughout the novel, to be revealed at the climactic moment. While not being exactly the kind of story for standard holiday reading, nor one for dealing with the ethics of social issues, The Colony is one of those stories which may be remembered after the book itself has been closed.