I entered to win this book quite a while ago and promptly set it on my TBR pile, where it got buried under other review books. When the author emailed me and asked if I’d had a chance to read it, I pulled it out and put it next in line to be read. Perhaps I would have liked it more if I hadn’t read it right on the heels of The Likeness by Tana French, my absolute favorite book of the year so far. I doubt it, though.
The author has a whole series of books with detective Bryson Coventry…the books are called the Laws series. Can you guess why?
This book follows Bryson, who’s investigating his friend’s disappearance. He fears the people who recently killed a woman by ramming a wooden stake through her heart vampire-style also took his friend. And then there’s Heather, who’s being hunted by these vampire killers because she has vampire blood running through her from her great-great-great-great-something-or-other.
I don’t know…perhaps I thought, Oh, this sounds interesting! Hmph.
The writing is very…choppy. Let me give you an example:
At the Old Orleans, the stress made Heather drink more than she should, but it didin’t affect the performance. If anything, it loosened her up and let her get further out on the edge.
The people noticed.
And hollered and hooted to prove it.
The place was dark and packed with sexual tension.
Well, not totally perfect.
Parker wasn’t there.
His theory was that the slayers wouldn’t make a move in public, so she was safe inside the club. And it would be better if Parker wasn’t seen in Heather’s vicity any more than necessary. So he hung around outside the club, in the shadows, watching the entrance. If Heather spotted anyone conspicuous inside – say a man by himself, not drinking, studying her every move – she was supposed to call and describe the guy. So far, however, that hadn’t happened.
She was belting out a spirited version of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” when she spotted a familiar face at the bar.
A man about forty-five.
Flamboyantly gay, even at a distance in a crowd.
He waved, clearly getting a kick out of the surprise on her face. Then he leaned to the person next to him, a nice woman about forty, and said something in her ear.
The descriptions are sparse, nothing is really fleshed out, and the conversations are all similar in their lack of…well, conversation.
The author has some word whiskers that detract from his writing. I know that typically, word whiskers are words such as uh, um, etc, but I think word whiskers totally applies in this case. For example, there was a lot of chuckling going on. I mean, a lot. 49 instances of people chuckling within 400 pages. Now THAT’S a lot of chuckling. It was distracting because people were always chuckling. I started predicting when people would chuckle, and I was RIGHT! That’s not a good thing.
I probably shouldn’t have finished this book. I could tell from the first chapter that the writing wasn’t very good, but I admit I felt a little pressure since the author had contacted me wondering if I’d read the book yet. There’s been a few books that I haven’t finished this year because they just weren’t doing it for me, so apparently this book wasn’t that bad. But really, isn’t that more of an anti-recommendation? Kind of like, You’re not the ugliest person I’ve ever seen.
So all in all, I finished the book, so it had some redeeming qualities, but not enough to overshadow the writing.
Edited to add: I posted this review 3 hours ago, and already I have an angry comment, which I assume is from the author. From Joe Blow: “I am trully impressed that after someone went to all the trouble to write a book, and then gave you a free copy, and paid the postage to send it to you for free, that you would publically trash it. That’s really sticking it to him! Good job!”
First of all, if you’re going to be angry that I didn’t like your book, then I would request that you don’t go all anonymous on me. Most of the people who read my blog know my first AND LAST NAME. I’m not anonymous and I’d request you not be, either.
Second of all, don’t think that your sending me a free book equals me liking your book. I sent you an email that I didn’t like it and that I would review it, but I would be fair. I believe my review is fair. If I’d wanted to trash your book, I could have.
Third of all, I wasn’t trying to “stick it to you.” Frankly, it’s authors like you that make me leary of reviewing self-published books, which most reviewers won’t do in the first place.
Fourth of all, I know you’re googling your name because I get the search terms that bring people to my blog. Might I suggest Google Alerts?