Leanna's Reviews > Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
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's review
Jul 30, 2013

liked it
bookshelves: arc, e-books, historical, more-deaths-than-you-can-count, mysterious

3.5 stars

So, I read an ARC of this book while at the cottage this summer, and was waiting to post my review until closer to the publication date. I saw it in the bookstore last week, so I figure it's about time.

The only thing is, I can't actually remember what I wanted to say. Oops.

Okay, here's what I do remember: for the first 3/4 of this book, yawn. Seriously, I kept flipping pages (well, I read this electronically, so I was actually pressing buttons but still) and thinking to myself "when is some action going to take place??"

For some reason I had it in my mind that this was a story about magicians. The title just made me think of magic, and also the cover. I thought the raven pictured there might be a magician's aid or something. Anyways, I think that they added the ": A Ghost Story" portion to the title after I had already read it. But even if I'd known it was a ghost story, for the first major part of the book, no ghosts!

So it was leaning towards being a 2 star read for me. When Bellman opened the store, and all the stuff with his daughter being ill was going on, the book did take a turn for me and became more interesting. By the end, I did enjoy it. I especially liked the little blurbs about birds, and the collective nouns for them. But I'm weird and like knowing collective nouns. The last segment from the perspective of the bird was cool.

Overall, I can't quite remember why I gave this 3.5 stars, so a more accurate rating would probably be 3. Because if it didn't have staying power since I read it in August, it's obviously not one of my favourites.

If you're wondering whether to read this book, as long as you don't mind a really slow pace and not much action, I'd say give it a try. You might like it!

Thank you to the publishers, who via NetGalley provided me with this advance copy for review!

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Reading Progress

July 30, 2013 – Shelved
July 30, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
August 4, 2013 – Started Reading
August 4, 2013 –
page 61
August 4, 2013 – Shelved as: arc
August 4, 2013 – Shelved as: e-books
August 7, 2013 – Shelved as: historical
August 7, 2013 – Shelved as: more-deaths-than-you-can-count
August 7, 2013 – Shelved as: mysterious
August 7, 2013 – Finished Reading

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