Lanyon's lyrical descriptive writing.
Colin. An appealing mix of stubbornness and youthful hope.
His amazing, distinct vocal characterizations of all the characters in the book.
Yes, when Septimus, who has been assigned to kill Colin even though he loves him, says "I would do anything to save you."
The story is a heady brew of fairies, brownies, witches, humans with magical powers, an ancient monster from the Deep, Celtic legends, and magic spells. Of course, it’s also a suspenseful mystery and a romance. Lanyon places his story in the haunted, wind-swept isles off the northwest coast of Scotland, a location which inspires some of the best, most lyrical descriptive writing he has produced.
The story’s title is a reference to the poem of the same name by Thomas Hardy. Appropriately for the story, the poems last lines are:
“I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.”
Exciting, Relevant, Literate
Any of Josh Lanyon's other novels, print or audio. They are all literate (also suspenseful, romantic and fun). Besides, Lanyon writes exciting, edge-of-your seat action scenes.
Absolutely. When listened to all at one go, as I did yesterday on a long road trip, they may be even more suspenseful and compelling than when read chapter by chapter, which is what typically happens when one must put a printed book aside in the middle of things as the demands of daily life intrude.
The book’s title is a quote from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” which is fitting for Sebastian Swift, the story’s protagonist, a literature professor who becomes a target when he tries to help one of his students who is suspected of murder. A great pleasure of the book is all the situationally relevant quotes of poets from Shakespeare to Eliot and e.e. cummings. One wonders if Josh Lanyon wishes he had been a professor of literature himself. Based on the evidence here, he’d probably be great at it. But you won’t need a poetry anthology beside you to enjoy the story, because it’s also packed with physical and romantic suspense. Download it for your next road trip, or for true listening pleasure anytime.
No, the are equally good each in their own way. What's remarkable is that Lanyon's skillful writing translates so well into the audio medium. He puts precise, witty dialogue on the page that gives each character a distinctive personality and voice. All that comes across vividly in Chris Patton's skillful vocal enactment.
Well, Adrien, of course; an sympathetic, quirky character who is, as another character says, "something of a wise-ass."
After Adrien, the most complex character may well be Riordan, the enigmatic, macho homicide detective.
But Adrien's faux-French black restaurateur pal Claude is right up there.
And let's not forget Adrien's overly-doting socialite mother, Lisa.
I suppose the very last one, where Riordan says,"This won't be easy, Adrien," causing Adrien to smile.
Makes you impatient for a sequel.
But the scenes where Adrien tries to communicate with Angus, the Goth temp store clerk, are hilarious.
The most appropriate would be the two lines from the Elizabethan dramatist that give the story it's title:
"Our acts, our angels are, for good or ill
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still."
But for today's audiences you'd have to dumb it down to something like:
"SHADOWS FROM THE PAST CAN KILL!"
If you like a an exciting, romantic mystery, written in a literate and witty style, this is the story for you.
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