Ugh, what shall I say? I don't necessarily think this is a BAD book, it's just often quite irritating.
While I was still reading it (I think I was abou...moreUgh, what shall I say? I don't necessarily think this is a BAD book, it's just often quite irritating.
While I was still reading it (I think I was about half way through)I browsed a few reviews and was quite surprised by the number of one- or two-star ratings it had received. It started well - a good premise, some atmospheric writing and a lot of potential seemed to reside within.
Sure there were some parts which were not very believable or did not sit quite right - a policeman with a perfect house with servants, the perfect, totally un-childlike children and a wife who's so perfect she could have been fashioned at a subatomic level from a blueprint farted out by angels. Oh and the theme seemed kind of familiar. But it was going OK.
However as it progressed, the irritating parts became more and more irritating and less easy to ignore. The children are no longer just a bit unrealistic, they are in fact massive dweebs. Children don't talk or act like that. No one is as perfect as his wife is. OK so there are plenty of understanding women out there, but even they have a limit on what they will accept from a bloke, and I'm guessing that 'I've been on unpaid leave and pretending to go to work for weeks on end so I can prance around the countryside after a disembodied bad spirit' would probably be over it. It got to a point later on in the book where I almost had to suppress a gag reflex while reading Nicky's sappish nonsense:
'She realised why he had hoped to spare her the worry of all this until he understood the situation as fully as possible, and his secrecy neither offended nor disappointed her. Like all good artists, Nicky could empathize with the fear and anguish of others. Like every GREAT artist who had been able to maintain a human perspective, she didn't believe that she was the center of the world, to be included in everything first above all others: she lived instead with the conviction that her talent and her success required of her both humility and a generosity of spirit.'
Oh please...*eye roll* piss off, you simpering tit! Yeah you'r right, you're only married to the man. It's not like that gives you any right to know what the pigging hell he's been doing with his time when he's supposed to be at work. He's only consistently lied to you every morning for an extended period of time.
It was pretty much all downhill from there. What was with all the trees? Trees, trees, trees. These trees will soon turn from green to brown, whereas these trees will soon turn from red to yellow. These trees here look dead and gnarled, this tree is waving in the breeze. I think Dean likes trees.
The ending was arse-achingly cringe-worthy. Talk about Checkov's gun. I actually facepalmed.
There were good parts though. The disgraced priest was interesting, and I wish there had been more from him. The diary excerpts from the Alton Turner Blackwood character were also a major strength. My copy of the book included the short story about this charatcer, and a part of one of those two stars is reserved just for that.
My lasting impression of this book is that I've seen or heard most of it before elsewhere. It was OK, I don't regret reading it, but it could have been so much better.(less)
Sweet merciful crap, that was awful. As a rule I'm quite forgiving of my books. I expect a lot from them so when they let me down, I'm prepared to at...moreSweet merciful crap, that was awful. As a rule I'm quite forgiving of my books. I expect a lot from them so when they let me down, I'm prepared to at least countenance the possibility that it's my fault for demanding so much. I've read several other Carol Goodmans, all orders of magnitude better than this train wreck of a thing.
Within a few pages it was apparent that either someone had leaned on her very heavily indeed to get her to cash in on the Twilight/Harry Potter juggernaut that seems to have been crashing its way through the world over the past few years flattening everything in its path, or she came to the realisation herself that she could make a fast buck by cobbling together various lame supernatural themes and sticking plenty of sex scenes in there.
Now I'm no snob. I'll read pretty much anything if there's a decent story in there. I have read the Twilight series to see what the fuss was about and although they were not really my 'thing', I could see the appeal. I like a book with a good supernatural bent. But Incubus was so shoddily done that I just couldn't see past the poor workmanship to any good points the book might have. It screamed 'rushed job'. Spelling and grammatical errors abound. The characters are wooden and the dialogue stilted. Several ideas are so derivative that I got to the point where I needn't have bothered reading the rest, I knew what was going to happen.
A special hidden power of which the person themselves is totally unaware - seen it. A special hidden heritage of which the person themselves is totally unaware - seen it. A special hidden club or society - seen it. A special hidden portal to another world - seen it. A vampire of whom you are initially suspicious but is actually a nice vampire - seen it. A furry protector or familiar - seen it. An educational establishment operating in the real world but dealing in magic - seen it. Witches and magical beings as college professors - seen it. A nasty curse passed down through the years and the desperate search to break it - seen it. The person you think is nice is really not nice and the person who is actually nice is the one you'd least expect - seen it.
Imagine the strength of sinking feeling I experienced upon learning that this is the first book in a SERIES!!! How is it that this kind of literary silage gets published without the bat of an eyelid, while so many infinitely more worthwhile works get rejected over and over again?
And to think this author wrote The Lake of Dead Languages. For shame!(less)
My dog ate it. I had just got to the part where the protagonist's brother returns from a stint in the forest. I absently laid the book open face-down...moreMy dog ate it. I had just got to the part where the protagonist's brother returns from a stint in the forest. I absently laid the book open face-down on top of the dog's night time crate (terrible way to treat your books boys 'n' girls) and went to bed. I came down the next morning to find that the little...darling had been grabbing at it through the bars all night. Consequently the thicker section, the part I had yet to read, had been reduced to a doilie-type affair, the delicate confetti on the floor of the crate a comforting sign that at least the little...poppet had not ingested much of it. Ironically, the section of the book which I had already read remained untouched.
Still, what I had read of it seemed promising, if a little impenetrable. The father's diary entries gave it the feel of the Myst and Uru computer games for me. Beyond that I can't really comment. I had had trouble getting hold of this book originally, but who knows. Maybe one day I will come across another copy and be able to edit this review with my full-time score.(less)