This book proved to be a bittersweet experience to me. It started off so well, lots of clues lying around, little pieces of a puzzle which was supposed to be assembled later. I liked how it was not obvious which of the two initial characters was the main one and how that feeling continued throughout the book. Everyone had their own agenda, even though they either didn’t know what it was or how to accomplish it. I also liked how it portrayed how a big disaster can bring out the worst in people. And I mean the worst.
But as the narrative progressed, I grew more and more uncomfortable. Waiting for the pieces to be assembled is fine and adds to the suspense but I kind of expect that, when it finally happens, it will make sense. That didn’t happen here. With each chapter we knew a little more about each character and their story/purpose, but all very vague and mysterious, and then suddenly there were times when so much information was spewed at such an insane rate that I simply could not wrap my head around it – be it the Carrier family tree or the explanation of a Sorrow, for instance, but there were many, many more examples.
There were abrupt changes to the surroundings and the characters themselves many times a new chapter began. It took a while to get myself situated again but that would be fine, if I didn’t keep feeling something was missing between then and now. I had to constantly go back and forth, looking for specific information, and that was not pleasant. Sometimes the characters acted so differently that it just added to my unneasiness.
There are very explicit sex scenes. A lot of men running around with erect penises and 2 of the main characters constantly wanting to get into each other’s pants got old after a while, and I am still unsure about the purpose of some of those scenes, at least to this extent. The frequency of them made me feel as if the book could not make up its mind about what it wants to be (erotic fantasy?). I feel like a lot of those descriptions, amongst others, did not add much to the story. I expected violence, but not such thorough descriptions about men being raped and all the ‘fusing’. So a heads up regarding this content would have been nice, especially in the book synopsis.
Overall I feel the world and characters described in this book, their stories and backgrounds could have been better elaborated. The premise was so good and then so much was left unexplained, or at least not properly explained, to the point where I could not really connect to what I was reading.
It was still enjoyable at times, especially because I found it different from books of similar genre but, at the end of the day, I expected a bit more closure, I suppose. One minute the characters/plot was explained in a way, then it was something else altogether and in the end I was still extremely confused. The descriptions of their background, quest, purpose and origin changed so dramatically at times that I kept feeling I had walked in in the middle of the explanation. I was simply lost.
Reading this book made me feel the way I felt watching the movie 12 Monkeys, if you know what I mean – but even that gave more closure and allowed to connect all the dots in the end. It’s a ‘high maintenance’ book, you can’t believe everything you read and you have to pay VERY close attention. If you miss something, what comes next won’t make sense. And you need to have a good memory too. I think the only way this might make sense to me was if I reread it, but even then I wonder if it would, since it doesn’t take much to get lost.
I pondered giving the book 4 stars instead of 3, but at the end of the day I have to be true to the feeling I was left with when I finished it and that was an enormous headache.
Read from October 23 to 31, 2014
I would like to thank the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.