Courtney's Reviews > Threshold

Threshold by Caitlín R. Kiernan
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's review
Mar 16, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: horror

This is almost a 4.5. I found the writing in this novel much better than that of her previous novel, Silk. While she still employs the dangling descriptions and compound words that tend to annoy me, it isn't as rampant in this novel. The characterizations are more complete and a bit less stereotypical than in Silk, and the story was creative and innovative, pulling from Beowulf and paleontology. What I found most compelling was the unexpected ending (I won't give it away...suffice it to say, it makes one think). I'd recommend this to fans of the genre.

Brief synopsis:
Chance has recently weathered the deaths of close friends and family, leaving her lost and adrift. Amidst the grieving and loneliness, two things happen: a strange young girl named Dancy Flammarion, a self-professed monster hunter, seeeks her out. Second, immediately after Dancy's appearance, while searching through her house, Chance discovers a box of her grandmother's research materials - fossils, a ledger, and a jar with the preserved body of a curious organism that resembles a long extinct critter. All were discovered in a local waterworks tunnel.

Caitlin Kiernan explores the lives and relationships of Chance, her ex-boyfriend Deacon, his current girlfriend Sadie Jasper, and Dancy, while they encounter an ancient horror that has come to view them as a threat to its existence.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by BeerDiablo (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:10AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

BeerDiablo How is Threshold coming along? Though I haven't read any of her stuff, I came across her blog and am growing ever more curious.

Check it out:

message 2: by Courtney (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:11AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Courtney I read Silk about a month ago...her concepts are innovative, but her writing starts to drive me nuts after awhile. I picked this one up because I really liked the story in Silk. However, I can't tear through her books like I can others because I get bogged down in the annoying descriptions. She's a BIG fan of overly descriptive fragmented clauses and putting words together to describe something. Here's an example:
"Deacon raises the bottle of scotch and lets its amberfire fill his mouth and throat, merciful liquid to burn through his guts and his mind, until the warm and whiskeystinking darkness closes hard around him, and the night slips away, forgotten, like a drowning woman's last view of the sky."

While a sentence like this is beautiful in moderation, when all the writing is similar, you tend to get bogged down. I get a little annoyed and have to read something else for a bit.

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