St. John creates a new reality that is almost frightening in its plausibility. LA is grittier, and darker, despite being constantly bathed in light. Neighborhoods like Watts, even more cut-wrenchingly, dragged down by a drug that is turning people into shells of themselves. Not only is this new world painstakingly portrayed, but each character is developed to be incredibly human. Those you envision as the good guys, have their flaws; and the bad guys, their redeeming qualities. Not everyone is what they seem.
Definitely the warehouse scene at the end! Wow!
Mia's piano scenes were emotionally powerful and intricately explained. I understood her very well.
The author does a phenomenal job of creating real people that you want to know, to understand, and to hope for. Each has their own story line that draws you in; each twists and turns in ways that are shocking and enthralling. The book also raises interesting questions about life, death, medicine, and morality. The drug the storyline revolves around is a creation of the author, but he clearly did his research (and I work in the pharmaceutical industry). He presents the science in a way that it contributes to the story and is understandable to anyone. In fact it is this science that will raise those questions I mentioned in the minds of the reader. Admittedly, I don't read or listen to a lot of modern fiction, usually preferring Dumas, Faulkner, and Austen. Often I take in a chapter of a modern work of fiction and put it aside because I am unengaged by the poor writing, lack of compelling characters, and implausible story lines; this book has none of these issues. In fact the way St. John adjusts his perspective from character to character is a bit like Faulker's approach to As I Lay Dying and the way his characters choices make you cringe reminiscent of Dumas. He is amazing in his ability to invoke empathy and really get inside the psyches of a quite diverse cast of characters. I can't help but thinking how easily it could transition to big or small screen, selfishly because I would love to see these characters and this world come to life. I applaud this amazing book and encourage everyone to read or listen to it and think about the questions it raises and its implications for choices we are all making right now. And thank you to the author for bringing around a well-crafted work of fiction in a time when so many books are empty throw aways. Truly, thank you!
Wine, war, betrayal
I liked the in-depth history of this book- it's very well-researched, and a lot of the characters are real (as I found out when I went to search for them on Wikipedia or in books). The buildup leading to the Peasants Revolt is a pretty fun ride, and hard to believe a lot of it actually happened the way St. John portrays.
Amazing talent. I got to the point where I just felt like I wasn't having a good day unless I listened to his voice (and this story) at least once. He is a true artist, bringing lots of flavor and dialects and accents that really round out such a diverse set of characters.
If part one "The Nectar of Angels" is a stroll through the countryside then part two is a heated race to a harrowing end. Dane St. John does NOT disappoint in his conclusion of the Arrowsmith saga. I couldn't put it down, I had to know how this saga ended! Besides the immense knowledge that the author shows for 14th century Europe, the saga created by St. John is one of creativity and master storytelling.Great job Dane St. John and I'm looking forward to your next novel!
Yes, if they enjoyed classic historical fiction. Some people might find the history to be too much, but I loved it.
Probably the joust or when David went to Wales to find out about his family.
Wine is blood.
Dane St John's first novel in the Arrowsmith Saga lays down the foundation and the road map that will take you on an epic adventure. I was constantly thrust back into 14th century Europe every time I picked up the book. St. John does a great job of explaining historical facts and references so it was easy to submerse myself into the story that is being told by our narrator, David Arrowsmith. I found myself cheering at one moment and lamenting the next at some of the characters in the story, some of which are actual historical figures. Once you finish this novel you will find yourself immediately picking up the second part "The Venom of Serpents" to finish the epic journey of David Arrowsmith. If part one is a stroll through the countryside then part two is a heated race to a harrowing end.
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