Review: Lighthouse Island

Lighthouse Island: A NovelLighthouse Island: A Novel by Paulette Jiles
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of the ARC from the Goodreads Giveaways]

I'm giving this 2 stars instead of 3 because it was just okay for me. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it, I mostly just wanted to read it and be done with it. I had a major problem with the lack of quotation marks in the dialogue because I had a very hard time figuring out when a character was speaking and when the narration ended and became dialogue.

Style-wise, again, it was just okay. There was too much exposition, and it took way too long for anything to truly happen. There was also a continuity problem, when a character's death was clearly described, but later in the book he's still alive. I couldn't figure out if I had misread, or if this was an error that has been fixed in final publication, or if it was really supposed to be a plot twist (which I found poorly executed).

The ending dragged on too long. I have a problem when books end too suddenly, but this one should have ended about 70 pages before it did. It felt like the book had actually ended, and another book had started. Maybe it would have been better if that's what had happened - I kept saying to my husband, "It's like she's started the sequel and included the first 1/3 of the next book in this one without noting that it's another book." Introducing several new characters only that close to the end of the book seems pointless. Not that I want another series, but this seems like it should have been at least a duet. OR, she should have written more and made it just a longer book.

Since this doesn't come out until October, I have no way to tell if any of this was changed in the final version. But I don't see myself spending the money on the hardcover or even spending the extra time on re-reading the finished copy. It was an interesting idea, but I don't think it was fully successful.

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Review: The Beholder

The BeholderThe Beholder by Ivan Amberlake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

[Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

***There is one minor spoiler in this post***

It's more of a 3.5 than a solid 4, only because there were a few plot points I took issue with and the writing style wasn't my favorite, but the book itself was very enjoyable and a fun read from a great new writer.

At times I felt like I was reading a cross between Harry Potter and The Matrix, which isn't awesome but it isn't terrible either. It seemed like maybe the author was borrowing a little blatantly, but it wasn't plagiaristic, more like an homage that might have been trying too hard? But I thought the fact that he combined fantasy and sci-fi so smoothly was very interesting and done quite well. Actually, it seems like he's brought the sci-fi into the fantasy and made them work as one entity.

One plot problem I had was that at one point it is stated that the city is empty of the Unsighted, those who don't have these powers that the main character discovers. Later in the same scene, it is mentioned that the Light Sighted are coming to take the Unsighted out of the city. Since their entire purpose in appearing was to remove the Unsighted from the city, maybe that scene should have been a bit more clear as to who exactly was still in the city.

The ending was interesting and while I sensed there was going to be a (SPOILER) big betrayal (/SPOILER) pretty early on, I had anticipated it from someone else. Good job on the twist there.

Overall I had fun reading the book, and got through it pretty quickly (two sittings). Despite its shortcomings, I think this author is on to something awesome here and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

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Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary Pearson

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson My rating: 5 of 5 stars I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes. ...