Posts Tagged ‘Thriller’

Three months ago I started Thelordbaelish blog in what you may call a whim. For a long time I had contemplated starting a blog which specialized in Fantasy and Science Fiction books’ reviews and in the last days of 2013 I decided it was the time to do it. Today I happily admit that I just reached the first milestone of this journey, three months of writing reviews. So I want to use this paragraph in which I usually comment things that in my mind seem important and then in paper they look as interesting as Fireblood (still ranting, still ranting) to thank everyone for their reads, their likes, their follows and their support. Next milestone: January one of2015. Let’s go from a non-very ambitious goal to an ambitious one (middle ground? what is that?).

in

Strong Points: The main characters and their development, the writing style.

Weak points: some parts are somehow dense,some elements feel underplayed.

Innocence, written by Dean Koontz, tells us the story of Addison and Gwyneth. He is a young man who suffers from a strange condition by which when people look at his face they feel and uncontrollable need to kill him; she is a young woman whose social phobia has kept her alone and isolated. In a world that despises them they will have to trust each other, but a change is coming, and the signs seem only obvious for these two outcasts.

There are two points that in my mind make Innocence a novel worth reading and one of them is its main characters. We are told the story from the point of view of Addison, an extraordinary and complex character that will captivate the readers from almost the first moment. Addison has been forced to live his whole life away from other people and the author manages to personified all the innocence but also all the maturity that comes by the singular life style of this character. Addison’s vision of the world matches perfectly with the character himself and his circumstances, and his reactions to everything that happens around him are believable, making him humane and a character in which the reader may find him/herself reflected only because Addison´s depth make him feel like a real human being despite his extraordinary circumstances. On the other hand, Gwyneth hasn’t lived as isolated as her male counterpart, her reclusion being her own choice because of her dislike to directly interact with other human beings, and this shows in her vocabulary and her behavior. The author has perfectly represented a young girl who has lost everything and has been forced the mature faster than anyone around her and even if we see her always from Addison point of view she shares his depth and his complexities making her a very difficult character to predict.

Their development is not less perfect and beautiful than the characters themselves. The subtlety by which the author develops Addison and Gwyneth is astonishing to the point that it feels as the small changes that happen to a person we have been seeing every day for months: you don’t notice the changes immediately until the result is different enough but when you notice you recall the change step by step. The same happens in this novel, by the end you realize how much the characters have changed since the first pages. This development doesn’t feel forced and it seems to flow naturally as a sensible response to the events that occur around the characters. This development, so natural and complex at the same time, deepens the effect already created by the characters themselves in which we feel as if we were in the presence of real human beings opening their minds and hearts to us.

The other point that makes this novel a worthy read is the writing style of Dean Koontz. His timing and his grasp of the English language may only be defined as wondrous. Mr. Koontz’s prose is beautiful, completely poetical with a sense of style and a grasp of vocabulary which sets Dean Koontz as an example for any aspiring author at least where the use of prose is concerned. This beautiful writing style goes together amazingly well with the story, pulling the reader inside the story. I can only compare the author with film director Nicolas Winding, in Drive you get drunk with the colors that fill the screen while in Innocence you get drunk with the words that fill the pages.

Sadly, some parts of the novel feel too dense and slow paced to the point that it may lose the interest of the reader, especially at the beginning and at the very end of the book. The lack of action whatsoever in these parts make it feel as if you were reading a philosophy essay rather than a novel, making it difficult to go on when all you are looking for is a story. Once you get through approximately the 40% of the book, the story picks up in pace with astonishing speed and keeps you turning pages to see what happens next.

Finally, some elements of the story feel underplayed and leave you somehow of a sour taste in your mouth because of the unused potential. An example of this is the collection of marionettes, which are introduced with a dark and rather crude backstory which captivated me and left me wanting to see these terrifying toys play an important role in the story. Sadly, they are never fully explained and their exit is both too soon and too anticlimactic for my taste. There is even a mention that there is one more of their kind but then it is completely forgotten and has not weight in the rest of the novel.

Innocence has been a captivating story as soon as it picks its pace up, using it strong points to keep me reading for the first 40% of the book. I would recommend Innocence to those readers without any kind of prejudice to the urban fantasy genre, because Dean Koontz doesn’t follow any kind of established rule in this novel.

FINAL SCORE: 7/10

¡Hasta la próxima!

Advertisements

Am I the only one who gets a deep feeling of enjoyment whenever I pick up a debut novel? I feel as if each one of those was a whole new world (which sometimes involves flying carpets, yes), like it was a pathway by which a brand new author brings something new to the genre through his or her point of view. But there something I enjoy more than discovering a new author and it is to read the debut work shortly after it gets published, before the reviews and the subsequent books that follow the success of the first one. Echoes has been one of those novels that by luck has fallen into my hands a couple of weeks after its release and I must admit that I have enjoy the book from the beginning to the very end.

Echoes

Strong Points: Characters and their development, the plot, the writing style.

Weak Points: Some punctual moments of the story feel somehow superficial.

Echoes is a novel written by Therin Knite which tells us the story of Adem Ademend, a 23 years old prodigy who solves crimes for a living in a futuristic society where countries don’t longer exist. Adem has become the best criminal investigator in the police force thanks to an uncanny skill to rebuild the crime’s scenes and figure out the identity and motives of the killer almost instantly, but a new murder has occurred in town and Adem’s gift is not proving useful this time for all his senses are saying that the victim has been killed by a dragon.

Undoubtedly the characters are the strongest point of the novel, especially Adem. From the very beginning the author manages to create a character that entraps us and wins us over due to his sassy sense of humor, his well-deserved arrogance and his need to find logic in everything he sees around him; Therin Knite has masterfully written a psychologically scarred character who at the same time is capable of maintaining a light tone throughout the novel. Adem is also surrounded by a strong cast of secondary characters who fulfill their own unique function inside the story and who have been created to the utmost detail, showing each one a unique personality that entraps the reader. All the characters, from the hateful socialite Regina Williams to the rough SWAT veteran Briggs, manage to trigger a reaction on the reader, making sure you won’t be indifferent to any of them by the time you turn the last page over.

Aden’s development is even paced and it doesn’t feel forced at any point. It answers to the events of the novel, changing through the story and being affected by the world that surrounds him in a plausible and believable. It is enjoyable to find a development so well written, both in Adem and, of course, in his secondary counterparts, especially the development of Dynara Chamberlain, who the author manages to evolve without making her loose the mystery that makes the character so alluring in our eyes.

The plot will entrap you from the very beginning and will keep you reading until the moment you finish the novel. While the book reminds us to some already well-established series such as The Twenty Palaces Society or The Dresden Files it stills offering something new to the genre that makes this novel something exotic. The mystery that surrounds the crime, which will make us suspicious of every character we meet, is alluring enough for the novel and the inclusion of the Echoes don’t feel out of place and are explained through science, making sense by the rules we have been given by the author about the world of the novel.

Therin Knite shows an elegant writing style which adds up as a quality to the novel. The author doesn’t fall into the irritating habit of explaining everything as soon as it happens, preferring instead to unravel it step by step, helping this way to create a mysterious atmosphere through the novel. Her way of giving information to the reader helps to underline its importance, such as the moment when we discover that Aden’s mother was murdered when he was six. Ms Knite could have told us that from the very beginning, but instead she waits to the right moment, once we have gotten to know her main character and using a digital picture’s frame to approach to the right moment. This example of a built-up, which happens more times through the novel, is an impressive example of timing which makes Echoes an enjoyable experience.

The only downside of this otherwise great book is that sometimes the characters’ reactions or the lack of them when it comes to some events or words of other characters take away some of the depths that they show through the rest of the novel. For example, there is a chapter in the book where Dynara criticizes Adem for trying to figure out his mother’s murder through logic and data instead of going out there and finding the murderer by himself, when that happens we are not given a point of view of the characters, we don’t know how he feels and he acts as if Dynara never mentions his mother, but her murder is what drives the character through the story.

Echoes has been a delightful reading from the very beginning to the last page, it is easy to read, well-built and interesting. I shall await Epitaph and any other book that the author writes in the future with great expectation. I raise my glass for a long and fruitful career, Ms. Knite, may you give us many good novels.

FINAL SCORE: 8/10

¡Hasta la próxima!