It wasn't a very coheisive or well-written book. And it was really badly researched. If you're going to write a mystery set in the GThis was not good.
It wasn't a very coheisive or well-written book. And it was really badly researched. If you're going to write a mystery set in the Georgian period then you probably read a book about it or at least Google the time period. Ugh.
And don't even get me started on the unnecessary, tacked-on romance portion of the program. Double "ugh."
Simplistic, underwritten, brain-dead. Thinly drawn, simplistic characters, an obvious mystery, and I really should mention AGAIn how very distracting all the anachronisms were.
Two stars rather than one because it's a first novel and everyone deserves some slack. She'll probably get better. Everyone does if you love what you do. And that's pretty much the only thing going for it: Tessa Harris seems to love what she does.
It was well written enough. The descriptions were at times luscious and the dialog all felt genuine. But it wasI have mixed feelings about this book.
It was well written enough. The descriptions were at times luscious and the dialog all felt genuine. But it was also a little hard to follow in places. It's the history of 4-ish generations of hill-folk told like a game of telephone down through the years, and each of the individual stories is told from the perspective of one of the familiy members alive at the time, but neither sequentially nor in any real personal detail. No characters are at all fleshed out and most of them lack any depth.
The stories themselves are usually pretty good. There's the sort of thing you would expect: incest and murder and rum running and all that stuff.
*shrug* It just didn't effect me in any real way, I guess. I probably should have liked this better. Maybe I'll try to read it again in a few years....more
I read this one overnight. It's a fun, disturbing not-badly-written book that balances mystery and horror fairly well.
The gist lays thusly: a multi-deI read this one overnight. It's a fun, disturbing not-badly-written book that balances mystery and horror fairly well.
The gist lays thusly: a multi-degreed doctor lady in her middle-ish 30's was a big wig in the field of psychology and very happily married when her husband was killed very suddenly in a car accident and she saw him manifest for a moment before she knew he was dead, making her question everything and swerve her career away from general psychology and to parapsychology.
Flash forward almost ten years. She is a member of a three-person investigative/scientific research firm that is looking for scientific proof of ghosts or the afterlife.
The rest of the story you can get from the cover flap or by, you know, reading the book.
I liked most of the characters and enjoyed the approach to ghosts that the novel takes. I also really enjoyed Daniel Hecht's writing. I didn't get much sleep last night and HAD to finish the book this morning because his writing style is emotional and precise and it freaked me right the heck out, something that is not easy to do.
It turns out that this book is the first in a series, and I think I'll be reading the rest of these.
Recommended, if you're in to this sort of thing. ...more
This is a really good book. It's very well written, emotionally evocative, highly intelligent, vividly descriptive, generally well-rounded, and poeticThis is a really good book. It's very well written, emotionally evocative, highly intelligent, vividly descriptive, generally well-rounded, and poetically beautiful in a lot of ways.
It's also scary and really, really gross. Seriously: Hell, as seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Niko, is disgusting.
I flew through this book in a couple of days. I was hooked. I was reaing it at home while reading another book at work and found myself over the weekend not missing the work-book at all, even though it's quite good as well.
It is, without going into any real detail (because you can get that from the cover-flap or the basic book description on the GoodReads page) this book is a combination of Dante's Inferno and the story of Orpheus. Of course, rather than a retelling of the later, it's part of the gist that this IS the story of Orpheus, just in another body. He’s been doing this over and over and over and over for thousands of years, just in different bodies and with slightly different circumstances.
The second half of the book is basically a car chase. You would think that 200-ish pages of a single car chase would get old, but it doesn't. It, like the rest of the book, is very good.
The ending is a sort of cliffhanger, though I can't tell you why there MUST be a second book without a sort of a spoiler, but I'll just say that Dante wrote two other books to go along with Inferno and leave it at that.
Recommended, if you are into this sort of thing and can handle really vivid and horrible descriptions of Hell. ...more
**spoiler alert** This is apparently the first book in a series. At >800 pages it probably should have been two books. However I understand why it**spoiler alert** This is apparently the first book in a series. At >800 pages it probably should have been two books. However I understand why it wasn't broken-up; looking back I have no idea where I would have chosen to split the novel.
On the minus side this book was a slog. A SLOG. It was very hard to keep track of characters: there is a metric fuck-ton of them and they all have very similar (and in some cases identical, damnit) names. And then there are only a set and small amount of clans (called Names) in the entire world anyway, complicating the issue even more. The Slogginess and Character recognition problem is also not helped by the fact that everyone dies. Seriously: don't get attached. Apart from the main three (or four, depending on how you look at it) main characters, no one is safe in the B-listers. All the secondary characters die, save for a very small handful. Oh, the backbenchers all live, but I had no idea who any of them were, nor did I care. The last chapter of the book is full of paragraphs that I'm sure are meant to be meaningful about how So-andSo and Whatsit are now married or Hoodiehoo, Thingie and Blhblah are now the Captal's official honor guard and et cetera, but, since the book spent almost no time at all with any of the characters, I really don't give a crap. They will probably figure largely in the next book, being as how they are the only ones left alive, but don't throw them in at the very end and then assume I'm going to have any sort of emotional response to their triumphs.
Another minus was a Plot Badger. The very first line of the book's description on both the publisher's website and the inside flap on the book itself is something that never, ever, ever comes up in the story itself. 1000 years ago, a highly advanced civilization landed on this empty planet to escape persecution they faced on their home world because they were all magic users. The society in modern day is medieval and has no interest or idea about their origins. It simply doesn't come up. Maybe in an offhanded conversation or two about certain banned historical books, and about language-shift, but that's it. What the fuck is the point? Does it figure into the next book? The one after that? Why even say that's what the book is about on the flap if the book has NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT?
On the plus side, it was so well written and several of the characters were so well developed that I managed to totally ignore all the minus' most of the time. It was really compelling and the world was so interesting that I didn't want to quit reading it. I won't be reading any more of these, but I'm very glad I finished this one.
Neither recommended or not recommended, but if you're interested in epic fantasy, then you might like to give this a try. ...more
This is cute. It will be familiar to some readers: it follows a noir-esque modern day privete eye into a mirror-image, fantasy Manhatten where he solvThis is cute. It will be familiar to some readers: it follows a noir-esque modern day privete eye into a mirror-image, fantasy Manhatten where he solves crime and might be literally on the side of the angels. This "Wonderland" trope has become mroe common, but this book was written almost 30 years ago so we can't accuse anyone of cribbing form anyone else's bestseller.
I liked it. The author is an excellent writer and the characters that were meant to be multi-dimentional almost approached it. I epecially loved his take on a "cat-girl," most fatansy novels make cat-girls all ... I dunno, sexy and human. But Felina in this book acted exactly like a cat really does act. I appreciated it.
Weird and funny. I'll be reading the rest of this series....more