Finally, having finished the 5th book of the series, I discovered what kept bothering me about it:
I love the dialogue, I love the cases, I love the c...moreFinally, having finished the 5th book of the series, I discovered what kept bothering me about it:
I love the dialogue, I love the cases, I love the comic relief and the suspense, all well done, but I just can't over the fact that police these days don't use guns but pepper spray when storming homes of serial killers/cannibals/rapists etc, then just fall all over themselves like the three stooges and fail.
You might not think much of it but the stupidity of untrained and unarmed cops running amok IS what creates the whole story in the books - every event literally depends on it and grows from this. Many circumstances and situations happen simply for this reason alone - criminals get away all the time, serial killers make a run for it, mafia thugs beat the swat team cops to pulps and while those slip on their own blood and fall on their asses, simply get into their car and start driving. I mean...come on! I don't want to be the cliche American who thinks a gun is the solution for every problem but I don't see how you can defend or explain unarmed cops.
There is also the quite odd trauma Logan goes through for shooting someone in pure self defense. I mean would YOU feel bad if you were being shot at, backed into a corner, injured, about to die and managed to nail the other guy? Would you feel remorse and worry about whether or not the criminal actually made it to a hospital? Mind you, this is not an innocent baby we're talking about, it's a thug who killed probably a lot of people and meant to add you to his collection.
I love everything about these books but the Laurel Hardy cartoonish ineptitude of the police department grows simply exhausting and annoying after a while. If you're writing a comedy, you're doing a marvelous job but if this is supposed to be a real life criminal thriller (and the violence of the crimes suggests that it is) then please don't do us readers the disservice of suggesting that police dealing with violent crimes run around with pepper spray bottles which, by the way, half the time they don't even get to use because they can't retrieve it fast enough, or they mistakenly spray all over themselves while trying to hit the perpetrator. It is simply not realistic, just frustratingly stupid.(less)
Let me start by saying that in all the decades of avid reading that I have done, there are maybe a handful of books I couldn't finish. No matter how b...moreLet me start by saying that in all the decades of avid reading that I have done, there are maybe a handful of books I couldn't finish. No matter how bad the plot, how sophomoric the writing, how irksome the characters I always aim to finish books, if for nothing else, then simply as a show of respect to the writer to took the time and put in the work to write it.
This book, however, simply made it impossible for me. I am a fan of a wide array of genres - anything from serious literature to full blown fantasy, from science to science-fiction will end up on my reading list. I'm one of those people who don't have a "favorite" genre but rather "favorite books". So my rating has nothing to do with the concept of the book.
This book starts off with an interesting idea: a man suddenly discovers a secret trail of signs that lead him to what some might call a shadowy cult, a force behind the curtain of events shaping humanity. Sounds great so far. Then Barker adds in a wholesome dash of magic, unproportionate mysticism, tries to fill in the gaping holes of logic with highly dubious pseudo-science and decides what the heck - why not pull all the stoppers and go all out?
The characters are cardboard cutouts. None of their emotions or their actions make sense. When they are in love, they just can't look away from each other's eyes; when they are angry they huff and puff. I mean I've seen more sophisticated cartoons. The story starts with feet planted on the ground then proceeds to exceed the definition of exaggeration and turns into one of those Japanese cartoons where it simply won't do do show strength by blowing shit up - entire planets need to be decimated by the action hero for us to get how awesome super strong he is. When gaping holes with question marks appear, some magic trick -or make that ten!- saves the day. Seriously - it is really, really bad. Even so, usually an author's prose can save a book when all else fails, however Clive Barker has absolutely none.
Maybe it's one of those books you have to be extremely high to appreciate, I don't know, but this book failed in every department for me and reading became a complete bore. If the rating had allowed me to give it zero stars, I would have. (less)