Bookus Interruptus. Don't you just HATE when an otherwise EXCELLENT book, a book that was ending on a thriller-riffic note, just sort of... ends? With...moreBookus Interruptus. Don't you just HATE when an otherwise EXCELLENT book, a book that was ending on a thriller-riffic note, just sort of... ends? With no warning, it just ...pooft. THAT'S what happened to this book. Although saying that this book was "excellent" might be more than generous.
First of all, if you've watched the movie? You're still going to get a few surprises in this. While the movie is faithful to the book (moreso than, say, I, Robot was) the two are two separate stories. There is a LOT that the movie doesn't get into (to the point where "our" sympathies are actually manipulated toward Angier instead of Borden,) which, granted, one would expect of a movie, but the changes are both understandable for their being made, and makes these two different stories.
The book "reads" as if it were three separate books. One is the past, one the present, and one the ending. The past, when told through Borden's diary, is confusingly handled. I understand why Priest wrote it this way, but I felt it could have been dealt with better. The present has very little to do with the main "bulk" of the story, except to give the past a reason for being read, and to give Priest a way to end the book. Which brings us to the end, which came straight out of left field, both in style (it becomes a Gothic thriller,) making it feel like he'd combined two stories in a very haphazard fashion, and then ends just as abruptly, making me wonder where the rest of the book was.
If you can overlook the haphazard way this was written, and completely overcome the bookus interruptus the end gives, it's a great story.(less)
I seriously need a shelf that goes "Started out utterly in love with it, then found out stuff about the author that made me rethink what I was reading...moreI seriously need a shelf that goes "Started out utterly in love with it, then found out stuff about the author that made me rethink what I was reading, which ultimately made me dislike the book." This book would go on that shelf.
Now, before reading this, I hadn't heard of Cassandra Clare. After all, I don't read fanfic (yeah, I'm a snob, so sue me.) While reading the first half of this, while I found some inconsistencies with the main character's thoughts and actions, I pretty much felt "oh, hey, people aren't usually consistent, I'll just chalk it up to being human." I was, after all, quite enjoying the prose. Say what you might about her, she *does* paint lovely with words. And, despite some inconsistencies, she was portraying some understanding of Victorian times. I was in love.
And then, I found out about the fanfic hullabaloo. That made me curious as to why people had panned this book, and I read some of the reviews. Apparently, this was a recycling story. While that's not a sin in and of itself, it *did* throw me out of the lovefest I was in, and made me more critical of the story, perhaps causing me to be more observant of what I was reading. I found more and more inconsistencies, both in character and in time period. There was also a spot, near the end, where the dialogue just made me cringe, because it was so clumsy. Being someone who's been noted to be good at writing dialogue, cringe-worthy dialogue is *not* so easily overlooked.
Another reason I'm not rating this as a five star is the love story. While certain not unique, I'm *tired* of reading about girl-wants-angsty-pain-in-the-ass-instead-of-sweet-boy. Are so many women *really* that delusional about sustainable love? Again, this isn't a unique complaint, but it's certainly a factor.
Finally, it ends on a cliffhanger. I *hate* that. It just seems like a cheap shot at the audience. A story should be strong throughout and not *need* a cliffhanger ending to cause the fanbase to want more.
So. Those are my reasons it isn't five-star-worthy, and having undecided and troubled feelings about the author in general.(less)