I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would - the writing is a little on the flat side and the narrator is pretty affect-less, however, some of the scenes of danger were well done and there is a lot of imagination and originality. The ending of the book has a good twist and of course, ends with a good cliff-hanger! It does make you want more.
I thought that this was going to be a run of the mill supernatural detective meets supernatural mystery based on the original review. However, this novel plays around with the noir detective genre and sets it in post-Katrina New Orleans. Claire DeWitt is the hard-boiled detective who is savvy about race relations, class consciousness, post traumatic stress disorder, and the way that things really work. She does consult the I Ching and listens to her dreams, but these are almost secondary...she does a lot of old-fashioned detective work and instead of drinking a ton, she does drugs with her suspects.
The actual mystery becomes almost secondary to the narrative, the pacing, and the overall good writing.
The narrator is also very good with a suitably gravelly voice.
This is a long, beautiful genealogy of a Newfoundland town that is forever altered by the appearance of an albino man found in the belly of a whale is superbly narrated by John Lee. The inhabitants of this town are affected and unaffected by world events and Michael Crummey does a fantastic job of describing the insularity and deprivation of a small fishing village that is dragged into the early twentieth century.
Like the Twilight series, what could have been a good idea is sunk with poor attention to plot and character development. This isn't an entirely fair characterization since this book started off strongly, and actually has some good writing, but the author wastes her talents by devolving into endless drivel about the perfect vampire who does yoga and drives a Jaguar. Although there are some good secondary characters, the plot gets lost and the missing manuscript which kicked off the whole story, never gets looked into as if the author became more entranced with the tepid romance rather than the actual story. And please, must we have yet another brilliant PhD who has absolutely no problems getting a marvelous tenure-track position at an Ivy league college? This is more fantastical than the witches, demons, and vampires.
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