The Book Meme Challenge: The most surprising plot twist or ending
I refuse to withhold the extent of my veracity from you: rarely do I get very far in guessing where a book might go next, and therefore I am surprised rather easily. Sometimes, when the plot takes a turn for the Very Bad (like Aslan dying or Gandalf falling from the brink), I feel certain that they’ll come around somehow (partly due to the authors writing them, and partly so I can keep reading instead of flinging the book across the room). But usually I can’t predict how that will take place, either.
Of course, since lots of books have twists and endings I find unexpected, they have a bit less sticking power in my mind than they ought to have…especially since I am so fond of mystery stories, which are prime fodder for this category with their red herrings and their neat twist of the wrist to show whodunit.
So here, discussed as carefully as I can manage, are three plot twists that threw me for such a loop that I still go “Quoooooi?” at them:
HP and the Goblet of Fire
Since at least two readers have not gotten past Prisoner of Azkaban, I shall do my utmost not to ruin the plot of later books utterly, should they ever decide to proceed further. The end of Prisoner sets up the rest of the series, and the beginning of Goblet sets into motion step one of Voldemort’s master plan (which, on reflection, was rather involved for being a single step. I suppose it was successful enough at the end of Goblet, but the whole thing has a hint of Rube Goldberg or Pinky and the Brain about it).
…anyway, um, Voldemort has a servant…who goes about in disguise…and tells naught but lies…except when he says things that are entirely true and no one pays attention to him on account of the disguise (which is, of course, Dashed Cunning of him). When the truth is eventually revealed, it takes a fair amount of time and gives a fair amount of backstory…which is all for the best, as it gives the reader something to hang on to while reeling about.
And Then There Were None
As I said, many mysteries have surprising twists for maximum surprise value. The thing about this book of Christie’s is that the very title tells you what will happen: at the outset there are people in a place together, but eventually there are none. The suspense grows tauter each chapter, as the remaining people wonder who they can trust and who among them might be killing everyone off. And suddenly, even though you thought you were watching as hard as you could, BOOM! the last person dies and you wonder what you missed.
Like Eoin Colfer’s other stories, this story has its share of plot twists and paranormal creatures. The story begins with an orphan escaping the orphanage-cum-experiment house. In his flight, he suffers a great electric shock, which nearly kills him – giving him the ability to see a certain sort of creature that not everyone can see. He meets a group dedicated to the destruction of these ‘parasites.’
All I can really say is that initially, one group seems good and another evil; then it seems that the good people are in fact doing something terribly evil; then we learn of something good that an evil person is twisting terribly; and generally it made me wonder what direction was up. As the good or perhaps evil folk of TV Tropes say, your mileage may vary.
(I feel that it is bad enough to put you on your guard for surprises when reading; to that extent I must apologize. But the fact that I avoided giving any amount of detail whatsoever and thus ended up terribly vague is also far from laudable. Alack. Forgive me!)