Kelly H. (Maybedog)'s Reviews > Dancing on the Head of a Pin

Dancing on the Head of a Pin by Thomas E. Sniegoski
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's review
Sep 21, 12

bookshelves: what-dogs, what-modern-fantasy, what-beware-of-dog, what-male-protagonist, when-reviewed, what-glbtq
Recommended for: People who love dogs in their Urban fantasy
Read on September 20, 2012

3.5 stars rounded up. This was a good follow up to the first book. This time around he has to deal with the death of his wife from the precious book. His grief is shown well and is believable. The passion and love that he feels for her is one of the most beautiful and tragic romances I've read in Urban Fantasy. 

Again the mythos feels real to me. I often felt that what Sniegoski was portraying was closer to what was written in the old Testament than what I learned in Sunday school. I don't know how much is true and how much isn't (my degree focused on world religious thought and philosophy rather than Christianity) but so much felt right. I think that's  impressive in world building in this genre. 

The situation this go round is even more dire then last time and I began to wonder how the next book could top this one. The final battle in this one is spectacular. 

Of course on of my favorite parts is the interaction between Remy and his dog as well as the dogs and other creatures in the storyline. Marlowe is a little smarter than your average dog but his feelings and motivations are quite realistic. Remy's love and respect for the animal as well as the seriousness with which he takes his role as the digs caretaker is refreshing. He even stops to make sure his dog will be cared for when he goes into a situation where he could die. I think a detail like that is what makes  Sniegoski do good at characterization as he showed the angel's humanity and loyalty with this act. 

However there were a number of things that detracted from the great aspects of the book such as the author over explaining things. For example, Remy is told to stay hidden when entering a crime scene the. The author spends a paragraph explaining why. Characters also repeat themselves without the description acknowledging that they are doing so and I such a way that it feels like it was a mistake that they did. 

There are a couple of areas where something in the plot contradicts something that happened earlier. For example, at one point one of the characters has some critical objects. A few scenes later it is revealed he doesn't have them anymore but there is no part of the text that explains that he lost them let alone how. I reread the intervening chapters again and the scene where it must have happened and at no point does it mention that he put them down or anything like that. 

Although Remy's a detective, he's not a very good one. Most of what he finds out is through things happening to him. When he is hired for the initial job, he doesn't ask any pertinent questions like specifics about how the incident happened, key questions that would have saved some time and effort. 

There are other incongruities like something was created by an angel at one part and then attributed to a human later or a powerful weapon used only once that could have made a real difference, or the all to common to this genre that in one scene someone is really injured but a couple of scenes later is fine. 

But Remy's humanity is beautifully obvious even as he struggles to fight his inner warrior of god and his love for his wife and dog are the things that make the story for me. I just wish that the editor would have caught the inconsistencies which would have moved the book up at least half a star for me. 

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