This book is considered one of the more popular in vampire lit section. However, we need to clarify one thing:
It's not about vampires. It's about Jona...moreThis book is considered one of the more popular in vampire lit section. However, we need to clarify one thing:
It's not about vampires. It's about Jonathan Barrett.
This book is a very slow read. There is almost no action; instead, the author leads us through the every-day life of Jonathan, following him through his life at home, studies in England and then the activities back on Long Island. The vampire part is seriously downplayed, but even though I bought the book looking mostly for vampirism, I wasn't disappointed. The descriptions, albeit long, were interesting enough for someone who hasn't had much fondness for historical fiction before. The visions of the world crafted by Elrod differed from what I expected/imagined and it was a real pleasure to learn how things worked. As for Mr Barrett himself... I found it amusing that he was not a likable fellow, at least not for me. It was nice to observe him, but I didn't care much for his lot. That's the quirk of sitting in one's brain via first person perspective.
It took me more than two months to finish this novel solely due to lengthy descriptions and slow flow. I can recommend it to anyone interested in historical fiction who doesn't mind a bit of supernatural.(less)
Collection of short stories set in world of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Most of them can be classified as original fairy tales specific for the w...moreCollection of short stories set in world of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Most of them can be classified as original fairy tales specific for the world. The reader should possess basic knowledge of the setting beforehand - in my opinion, this collection should be read after finishing the novel. Some of the stories are 'normal' short stories about normal characters, others have distinct fairy tale feel - one can see that they are meant to look like fairytales. There is even one retelling. Technically, all pieces are well constructed. None of them leave the reader hanging; they all provide enough information to form an ending and they don't look like part of larger whole. As the atmosphere goes, it is not as dreamy and refined as in the novel, but it can also stem from the shortness of the form. Nevertheless, this collection allows us to revisit the world and is a brilliant addition to what we already know, filling in the data about faerie and magic. I can recommend it to everyone who enjoyed Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. It's not the same - so don't expect it - but it contains great side stories set in this exact world. (less)
I heard only vague opinions about this book and was kind of weary to pick it up. I bought it with discount. Funnily enough, in the end, I either can't...moreI heard only vague opinions about this book and was kind of weary to pick it up. I bought it with discount. Funnily enough, in the end, I either can't say much about this novel. It's about a group of three people getting a taste of big city politics. It's also about a solid intrigue, but that thread isn't the main thing in this book. Shadow in the Summer doesn't have a leading thread. Everything seems to have equal rights and screen time. The plot involves some politics, some romance (albeit tasteful, at least for me - and I hate romances), some insight into supernatural craft of this world. It's rather fresh, not overused, but it lacks impact. It's a surprisingly good page-turner; although it doesn't sound very interesting, somehow I wanted to know what happened next. Summing up, it was better than average, but not amazing.(less)
I can't believe this was written by the King's Blades author. It's a well-researched novel with realistic settings and likable main character (rare th...moreI can't believe this was written by the King's Blades author. It's a well-researched novel with realistic settings and likable main character (rare thing in first person narrative!), but it's very dull and flat. I expected something more exciting and complex. Instead, it's basically a Poirot novel told from clueless Hastings's perspective. Main character, Alfeo Zeno, keeps touring the city on his Master's orders and that's it. There's even a long-winded speech at the end detailing the motives and means of murder. Nothing happens. Alfeo asks a few questions here and there and then someone else sweeps in with an explanation. The end.
I can't even say whether I liked this book or not. I kept waiting for stuff that never happened; basically some of the thrill and charm Duncan's other works have. The plot was simple, characters (ones that are supposed to recur) very few, and the whole thing was written on one thread. If not for the atmosphere and language, the setup would almost fit YA literature with its simplicity. Definitely not something I expected.(less)