In The Marbury Lens, Andrew Smith explores two hellish worlds. In one, the day-to-day reality of Jack, Smith’s 16-year-old protagonist, the other a place of the walking dead, giant, flesh-eating insects, and violence. Jack’s trouble begins after a night of drinking when he is abducted and about to be raped. Through sheer force of will he escapes, but his and his friend’s efforts to take revenge on his attacker go horribly wrong. So Jack flees to Europe, and following another bout with alcohol, a stranger gives Jack a pair of odd glasses, the lenses of the title, that take him to Marbury, a hidden second universe. There he encounters twins of people in his own world, including the man he murdered. In between the confusing movement back and fourth between the two worlds, Jack falls in love with a British beauty in one, while also struggling to stay alive and lead a band of young survivors of a mysterious war in the second.
In this high intensity, dual-universe fantasy, readers get a taste of what it might be like to live two lives and to never be sure which one is most real. Or, maybe they both are, and it’s only a matter of figuring out in which one you feel the most alive.
Sex – SS – Although most of the action takes place out of sight, there are enough details to raise eyebrows.
Violence VV– Graphic description of violent events.
Questionable Behavior — ??? –drinking, drugs, recklessness, tough language.
Not for the most impressionable.