A Review of Megan by Scott D. Southard
Review of Megan by Scott D. Southard
Thanks to author Scott D. Southard for giving us a copy of his book Megan for us to read and review!
I love the format of this book. I’m sure most of us—as children or even now as adults—have made up worlds within our imaginations and spent hours daydreaming or play acting what occurs in our imaginary worlds. Our protagonist, Megan, is stuck in a boring job, with coworkers she barely coexists with, with a boss she hates, and nothing interesting or exciting happening in her life. She escapes this monotony and the dreary reality of her life by imagining the world of Prosperity. Prosperity is a world where mothers die in order to give birth to children so that every life is of utmost value. It is a world in which there is little violence and few problems. Megan is a princess on Prosperity, and her best friend from kindergarten, Hope, is a princess on the sun and is coming to visit her, as is the real Hope in the real world. Something devastating happens in Megan’s life, and she struggles to against her coworkers and her boss’s behavior towards her, and this struggle plays out in Prosperity as Megan tries to escape reality.
Megan is a very relatable character; most people have probably felt at times in their life like they are going nowhere, that they are stuck in a job that pays the bills, that people talk about the same boring and pointless things day in and day out, and that everyone is just coasting through a life with little meaning. Her friend Hope has, however, broken with convention by quitting her job and is using her time to explore the world. Megan cannot understand this philosophy as she doesn’t understand how Hope lives without the money and security provided by a job, yet she silently envies Hope her freedom, happiness and escape from her idea of corporate servitude.
Megan’s other personality, Princess Megan, leads a meaningful and happy life in Prosperity. Prosperity is what I imagine many people’s daydream worlds might be like. Prosperity has wizards and swords, magic and dragons, fauns and trolls. Lately, however, there has been a string of violence and problems in the city, and Princess Megan secretly becomes a kind of superhero nicknamed “The Great Defender.” There is also a young man (who is a left-shoe maker) that she likes. I think it is interesting how this daydream fantasy includes a best friend, a hidden identity, a meeting with a man she knew as a boy and then falling for him, as well as a chance to save the world—all of these are kind of cliché things to happen in a daydream, yet they make a statement about the world at large—the lack of unique people in the world, how many people yearn to make a difference and do something different yet they never actually do anything about it.
While it may be part of using the daydreams, I thought at times that the plot and flow of the story while in Prosperity was awkward and a little out of joint. Daydreams can be like that, however, so maybe that was just a device to make it seem more real.
I also disliked the general overall theme that business and corporations are big, bad, controlling and don’t care about their employees. We live in an age when employee perks are actually very good. There are paid sick days, vacation, work at home opportunities, flexible work hours, etc. I know not every business gives access to these kinds of things, but very rarely do I think any business would prevent someone from taking a day off to attend something very important. (I don’t want to give the plot away!) I also found it very depressing the way the author portrays people and generalizes that everyone who works an office job feels that way—caught in an endless routine like a piece of clockwork. Many people have fulfilling jobs and lives, and that is kind of ignored in this novel.
If you enjoy non-traditional fantasy, or a mix between fantasy and non-magical fiction you will enjoy this book. Relating to the character is a big plus as the book takes an ordinary person and their daydreams in a magical land and makes them into a hero, which I’m sure is the object of many daydreams.
If you don’t like reading depressing novels, this book may not be for you. It does have a happy ending, but that ending is not really described or told in detail. The time spent in Prosperity, however, is normally fairly upbeat and not depressing.
I had a great time reading and reviewing Megan. Thanks for reading!
Written by Heidi V
Heidi is a co-creator and writer at Definitely Not for the Birds (DNFB). She is an avid reader, a die-hard Badger fan, and knows from experience that a good hike can solve almost any ailment. Follow Heidi @heidi_5 and DNFB @not4birds.