Chance Matthews is drawn into a battle between angels and monsters because of something in her possession - a fossil of a creature that couldn't possibly have ever existed. But it did. And still does.
©2007 Caitlin R. Kiernan (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Set in present-day Birmingham, Ala., the novel centers on Chance Matthews, a promising young paleontologist left bereft by the recent deaths of friends and family. Chance and ex-boyfriend Deke Silvey, a loser with latent psychic powers, wallow in self-destructive angst until they're sought out by Dancy Flammarion, a strange teenage girl who claims to be pursued by monsters....A finale that veers unexpectedly from a seemingly inevitable display of supernatural fireworks to a subtly disarming denouement only underscores the intelligence behind this carefully crafted tale of awe-inspired nightmare." (Publishers Weekly)
I found this novel disappointing on almost every level. The writing ranged from dreamy and evocative to lethargic but it was rarely involving and always felt mannered, almost forced. Caitlin Kiernan clearly has talent and I've enjoyed some of her short fiction but the young characters in this novel are so drenched in angst, the writing lays it on so thickly, that the book just drags. The languid reading by Lauren Fortgang reinforces the book's problems and the ending, while subtle, is extremely anti-climactic.
I was trapped in the car with this mess of a story for a week with little to do but listen as it droned on. The narrator was awesome, no worries there, and the author really does do a good job of describing the scenes and all, but the story... yikes!
Hours and hours spent listening to conversations that go absolutely nowhere. Then the big climactic ending (which plays out in about 4 min) reminded me of that episode of Dallas that had everyone so ticked off.
If the phrase "What did you see in the tunnel Deke?" repeated ad nauseam is your idea of great story telling, then by all means give this one a listen. Otherwise, give it a pass.
I gave this book 4 stars because it is very well written, intelligent, and terrifying. But I have to admit: I did not enjoy the story. It is a dark book; no joy, no peace, no happiness. In that way, exactly like real life. I know many people prefer this, but when I read a book, I want to forget about the awfulness of life, even if it is only for that few hours. I want the monsters dead, I want to believe justice still happens, and that sometimes, people do live happily ever after.
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