Not a bad start to a series, though it definitely couldn't shake that "this is the first book, here are the rules of the world" feeling. the characterNot a bad start to a series, though it definitely couldn't shake that "this is the first book, here are the rules of the world" feeling. the characters are well drawn, flawed and likeable. Most of the book is focused on getting to know them, though the pacing for this feels a bit rushed in places, It's not badly done and it definitely prevents you from getting antsy. My only major qualm is the low stakes. I get that the author is really just getting us settled, and doesn't want to up the ante too quickly, but this book lacked urgency. A bit more danger would have pulled me in deeper, but this is a pretty capable, light and breezy first book....more
Oh god. I really really wanted to like this and give it a five star review. But i simply can't.
There were certainly a few bits that I didn't like butOh god. I really really wanted to like this and give it a five star review. But i simply can't.
There were certainly a few bits that I didn't like but could totally have forgiven, most of which concerning the fact that this was a play and not a novel. Because of this, the descriptions are bare bones and Rowling's usual writing style was absent. This absolutely left a void, and I certainly feel it was a mistake to choose this format. I mean, the idea of a play is cool and all, but if it had been written as a novel, first, I firmly believe there would have been a better result.
The main problem I had was with the actial plot. So much of it was rehashing and revisiting the original. I was really hoping to see a brand new story, but this is just deeply shackled to the previous works, to the point where so much of it feels shoehorned in.
That being said, I didn't hate this as deeply as others seem to have. The new characters were wonderful, and as well-drawn as the medium would allow. Despite the huge fan outcry I've seen about the relationship between Harry and Albus, i found this to be the best, most realistic part of the book. All the fans seem so offended that Harry isn't portrayed as a perfect parent, but this made way more sense to me. Harry's been through some shit. He's going to be damaged and imperfect, he's not going to be able to relate perfectly to his children, especially when their struggles are so different than his own were. this part of the book I can really get behind.
This wasn't as good as I was hoping but neither was it as terrible as I feared....more
I always have to hand it to a book that grabs you by the nose and doesn't let go; this was a very fast paced little murder mystery, which packed a lotI always have to hand it to a book that grabs you by the nose and doesn't let go; this was a very fast paced little murder mystery, which packed a lot more punch than it's length suggested. Normally, straight mysteries aren't my bag, I like it better if there are ghosts or lovecraftian horrors, but this one really had something more to offer than the straight fiction/thriller usually does.
Unlike many detective stories, this was a very personal story. I always find the crimes where the narrator is directly involved, rather than someone who is entering the situation after the fact to be much more compelling, and the narrator doesn't realize at first that she is in this thing up to her neck. Amnesia, usually a very tedious plot device, is handled well here, though the game does take a little longer to play out than I would have liked. In the end, this gets only four stars, because I figured out whodunnit before the narrator did, which, while good for my ego, isn't what a turn to a mystery to do. I want the resolution to be something obvious, but which I still manage to overlook.
I think besides the slower pacing at the end, I really ended up liking this for the main character. I enjoyed her voice, I liked being in her head. This is a light, snacky read that doesn't over stay its welcome too much, with strong character voices and great, realistic dialogue. ...more
Now, full disclosure: I'm only a casual ripperologist. I mean, I know enough about the subculture to know that they call themselves "Ripperologists",Now, full disclosure: I'm only a casual ripperologist. I mean, I know enough about the subculture to know that they call themselves "Ripperologists", but I'm more interested about the idea of serial killers in general, as opposed to latching on to just one.
I picked this up on a whim, and found it to be very entertaining, but not really anything more. The author has obviously done his due dilligence with his research, and I certainly found myself transported into the seedier parts of Victorian London, but the plot wasn't fantastically clever, and the ending was a bit obvious. A good way to while away a few evenings, for sure, but nothing really life changing to anyone who's seen the series of crimes presented in narrative form before. ...more
I've always got to give an author a bit of credit when their reach exceeds their grasp. I was intrigued by the "Sherlock Holmes realizes he's a fictioI've always got to give an author a bit of credit when their reach exceeds their grasp. I was intrigued by the "Sherlock Holmes realizes he's a fictional character" aspect of the premise, and while the story was definitely interesting, it didn't get quite as weird as I was hoping. For the most part, this book focuses on the mystery, which, while capably executed, isn't a genre I'm a huge fan of. I got pulled in, then would be left to drift, then get pulled in again, all the while asking myself "When is IT going to happen?" I wasn't really sure what IT was, but with this premise looming ahead of me, I was absolutely expecting IT. You know, something cosmic and headfucky,like a mix of Mark Z. Danielewski and Philip K. Dick. Maybe Sherlock discovers that he's traveled to a new dimension which is identical to the one the reader inhabits except for his own sudden inclusion, and he learns to dimension hop and solve alien mysteries; maybe he figures out the writer is god and starts talking to him and then has a to the death show down with Satan, who is actually Arthur Conan Doyle, leading to the detective's unexpected demise; maybe he's an idiot savant with delusions of grandeur, but is actually channeling the idea of Sherlock Holmes through the collective subconscious of humanity... You know. Something neat.
The way this sub plot is handled is kind of a let down, but the story otherwise was pretty good. I ended up assigning the star rating I did simply because I think i would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did if I hadn't been foolish enough to get my own expectations up.
With that aside, it was a good mystery, interesting characters and a hint at something more. ...more
I haven't had a book give me the willies in SO LONG, and this one did it! The premise is just fantastic, and bolstered by some really strong characterI haven't had a book give me the willies in SO LONG, and this one did it! The premise is just fantastic, and bolstered by some really strong character voices, some deeply disturbing and tensely paced horror scenes as well as a good twist... Just... What else can you ask for, really?
Be ware, this book will not explain everything for you, and that may bother some, but it's just the way I like my horror. Make me do some of the work, make me speculate, make me wonder. Chances are I'm going to be a lot more satisfied with my own answers, than with anything an author is going to hand me. I know I've complained about authors leaving things too vague before, but you can be vague in the right way, and the wrong way. This is the right way to do it, folks.