The scariest thing of all is to imagine King writing a happy children’s book. This isn’t it: It’s nicely dark, never predictable and altogether entertaining.
What follows is a time-shifting story of Houdini’s life and death that can’t seem to distinguish incredible fantasy from prosaic truth...to be fair, it is often hard to separate the two extremes...The Confabulist, for all its methodical sense of misdirection, doesn’t amaze.
There’s a general sensation of closure and imminent climax as Harrison maneuvers toward the end, and patient readers are promised a substantial payoff.
Cutter’s appeal to modern-day disquiet over the ethical lapses of the military-industrial complex will strike many as pro forma rather than based in any authentic outrage over abuses real or imagined.
Ione deftly moves through the complicated, imaginative plot with clarity and flair. Sexy, creative, darkly fanciful and chock full of action, devilry and intense emotion.
The sometimes lyrical writing and the fast pacing are a surprising but welcome combination. Koontz's chapters skip from Addison's point of view to Gwyneth's, adding backstory along the way.
New conflicts and antagonists are introduced and dealt with in a late rush, and Reuben’s forays as Man Wolf are perfunctory, taking up fewer pages than the party planning. Still...Reuben and Felix are sympathetic protagonists, and the series mythology, suggesting that the fair folk may be evolved human ghosts, is fascinating.
Readers will root for this Bond, of course. Not because he’s James Bond or a close facsimile thereof, but because he’s this thriller’s designated hero.
The book serves as a portal in prose, through which readers enter fully into the bloody, raucous England of the early 17th century.
Even when you slightly see the twist coming, even when the author pokes his nose in with those quotations from The Waste Land, even when the ending is a bit rushed and you wonder if he has been keeping count of those canisters, as a reader you still inhale this novel like a great glorious draught of steam.
...too many subplots and characters, not to mention the increasingly impenetrable Norse arcana, draw focus away from the more coherent and compelling Salem plotline. Some readers may struggle to pay attention.
Despite my initial impressions, I’m glad I stuck with this book. It was absolutely worth the effort. The depiction of turn of the century Malaysia was wonderful and while I certainly wouldn’t consider the romantic subplot a strong point, I personally found the resolution immensely satisfying.
Vividly imagined fight scenes, clever use of obscure mythology...make this a rare treat, only hampered by the complexity of the pre-existing knowledge required to fully appreciate the developments and conflicts.
All in all, I would have liked this book to be about Anna and Jack. Instead I got a road novel about Myron and Carl and their various unpleasant habits...I strongly recommend that you spend your money on something else.
Beukes is particularly good at garnering sympathy for Harper’s female victims, creating deep characterizations in only a few pages, so that they come across as more than just fodder for a psychopath’s mission.
Everything works—the horrifying depiction of the murders, the asides explaining the impact of train travel on English society, nail-biting action sequences—making this book an epitome of the intelligent page-turner.
Percy births an interesting concept that he then submerges in a writing style that is both affected and self-consciously literary.
...none of the familiarity...gets in the way of NOS4A2’s profoundly satisfying narrative. At his best, King has always been about grounding fantasy and horror in a level of detail that makes it feel real. Hill accomplishes the same thing here.
In addition, we find the wistful, nostalgic tone—a Bradbury trademark—and his preoccupation with children and the most child-like of technologies: namely spaceships, human-like robots...
The Mad Hatter's youthful, disheveled appearance makes him resemble a modern hipster, and the pop-up trial scene features a flying pack of cards. A clever and inventive interpretation.