Ali's Reviews > Shadow Pass

Shadow Pass by Sam Eastland
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it was ok

A quick and easy read but nothing special in the genre and will make anyone with historical knowledge of the time cringe with pain.

The historical issues are well covered in other reviews so I will skip them.

It is hard to care for the characters who all fit into a few fairly simple cliches and lack any real depth or personality. Case in point, the main character spent years in a gulag, works for the man responsible for sending people to these gulags, does a job which presumably sends more people to the gulags. Yet never does he seem to grapple with this or have any real thoughts or actions whatsoever relating to it (with one very brief exception, but only when forced upon him in a unique situation). There is a wooden board with a menu on it that gets more attention than the feelings and internal divisions of the main character despite his complex situation.

Just to reiterate that: there is a wooden sandwich board for a cafe which gets more word time devoted to it than the internal moral struggles of a man working a morally complex job for a ruthless regime with which he has a dark history. The sandwich board actually plays a bigger role in the story too....

The writing and language (especially considering the author is a native English speaker who went to Eton and Yale) is downright strange at times, especially with regard to similes which he tosses in at every opportunity - 'sleet lay on the ground like frogspawn' and 'his heart was heavy, like that of a man who's blood had turned to sand' were two of the strangest which stuck in mind as making little sense and adding nothing but minor confusion. The language is also often painfully patronising, you can almost feel the author pat you on the head when he used the line '"Hello inspector Pekkala" said the guard, showing that in addition to the greeting of hello that he also recognised the inspector'.

For 99p it was OK but certainly not worth spending anything more on.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 11, 2013 – Finished Reading
April 14, 2013 – Shelved

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message 1: by Rob (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob Innis Totally agree with your comments about the over use of similes, and some were excruciating! He must have been on a creative writers course 'Don't forget to use similes'


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