Erin 's Reviews > Seven Days in May

Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo
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's review
Apr 20, 2017

it was ok
bookshelves: historic-fiction-1900s

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If you’re one of those who can’t stand negative reviews, quit while you’re ahead and stop reading now. I don’t mean to be rude, but I didn’t enjoy the time I spent with Kim Izzo’s Seven Days in May and I’ve no intention of mincing my words to appease everyone who thinks negative commentary a waste of both time and energy.

The sinking of the Lusitania boasts an overwhelming degree of intrigue, but Izzo’s illustration of the ship’s final voyage lacks both dimension and depth. Izzo relies on a series of information dumps to relay facts about the voyage, but fails to recreate the spirit of its passengers or the ambiance of its accommodations. The research was obviously done, but atmospherically I found the novel lifeless and flat. I don’t mean to imply that Izzo didn’t care about the historic elements of the story, she did a fair amount of research, but in terms of storytelling she exhibits a distinct preference for character drama over period detail.

Unfortunately, I found this emphasis misplaced as the entirety of the cast struck me as both cliched and predictable. I hate to be that reviewer, but stock characterizations don’t do it for me and Izzo failed to bring anything new to the table. A suffragette whose only flaw is getting into trouble for standing up for women’s rights? A self-righteous, marriage minded socialite? An inexplicably talented codebreaker with no experience who just happens to land a government job? An impoverished yet charming member of the aristocracy who is willing to trade his title for wealth? Give me a freaking break.

Finally, and I know this is petty, but I genuinely feel the story overburdened with competing plots. Sydney, Brooke, and Edward are united in that they are all passengers on the ship, but Isabel exists on the periphery of the disaster. Her position provides an avenue for Izzo to explore the military aspects of the story, but there’s virtually no cohesion between her story and that of the other leads.


Long story short, Seven Days in May didn’t work for me and I’d have a difficult time recommending it to other readers.
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Reading Progress

April 18, 2017 – Started Reading
April 18, 2017 – Shelved
April 18, 2017 –
34.0% "The drama to history ratio is decidedly unbalanced, but on the upside, we're finally on the boat."
April 20, 2017 – Shelved as: pending-review
April 20, 2017 – Finished Reading
April 24, 2017 – Shelved as: historic-fiction-1900s

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Jo (new)

Jo I was hoping that this was going to be good.

Erin Other readers seem to have enjoyed it a lot more. I might be the odd man out this go round.

Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede Great review! Spot on! :)

Erin I try. Lol. was totally tempted to put that pic of Fear yelling "Pick a plotline" as my review but it's a galley so I figured I should actually write something.

message 5: by Josephine (Jo) (new)

Josephine (Jo) There is no point in doing a review unless you give an honest opinion. If you tell it as you found it you may save others from wasting their time. There are always loads of reviews to check before reading a book. I love yours, it does not sound like one for me. Well done and keep it honest. X

Erin I do what I can! Just glad it's appreciated!

Audra (Unabridged Chick) I so appreciate your honest review -- it's very helpful!

message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Read Dead Wake by Erik Larsen about the Lusitania--it was wonderful.

message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan Powell Thanks for the honest review

Erin I'm glad you found it useful.

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