This is one of those novels that paints a picture of the surroundings so well that you can easily imagine you are there. The difficulty lies with the story or the lack thereof. Not a whole lot actually happens, and too much time is spent on the backstory which isn't central to the plot. Don't look for supernatural, science fiction, or romantic elements because there aren't any. Just a straightforward tale about a teen who wants to join the circus with a few frills. I was expecting more seeing how this was published by Strange Chemistry, an imprint of Angry Robot. Perhaps the second book in this series will pick up the pace but I was left underwhelmed with this one.
This was in the unread pile like forever and it wasn't worth waiting for. Setting the scene is one thing, but so much time is spent on details and surroundings that the plot gets bogged down and moves at a snail's pace. By the time it got to the unnecessarily convoluted end, I cared more about the book being over than who done it. Honorable mention for originality as it's not every day you read a book with a eunuch as a lead character.
Most assuredly, this is not an easy book to enjoy. In fact, I would say if you can't abide by a book with leading characters who are totally unlikeable you might want to pass on this one.
The creepy story deals with a married couple who wind up hating each other. And I don't mean dislike, I'm talking deep, dark hatred. It raises the question: how well do you really know someone close to you? Nick and Amy look like a perfect couple but their relationship goes south, like all the way to Antarctica.
The plot mostly evolves through Nick's perspective and Amy's diary entries that she started even before they were married. The biggest strength here is in the writing. Cleverness abounds along with the obligatory plot twists and turns and suspense prevails throughout. But this is a dark novel, about as far away from light reading as it's possible to get.
Overall, an enjoyable read but do not give this book to newlyweds unless you want to creep them out. Easily 4 stars.
Lest you think a museum is a stuffy old building filled with the same antiquated exhibits, here's a book that provides an enlightening look behind the scenes at one of the biggest museums in England.
The amount of material stored in the Natural History Museum is staggering. Literally miles (not to mention kilometers) of all sorts of objects from creepy crawlies found only in a remote part of South America to minerals from right around the corner by comparison. I had no idea the museum employed such an array of specialists. For every family of bug there's a person who has made it their main field of study.
Among the employees are the eccentric old gents who thrive in this sort of environment. From the guy who kept and filed by length all the pieces of string ever sent to the museum as packaging to the bloke who tried on his bulky diving apparatus and then couldn't remove it so he walked out of the museum looking like as the author put it "an extra in a science fiction movie" there are certainly a varied assortment of people working out of the public view.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in science or those who enjoy a trip to a museum.
Typical Dennis Lehane action, suspense and a side of levity. He's one of the very few authors I would say is incapable of writing a bad book. There are lots of plot twists and although the conclusion is a bit predictable it doesn't deter from a book that gets in gear from the first page and continues straight to the end. 4 1/2 stars.