Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Shock of Night - A Review

Note - a rare two post day. I've got a few reviews that have to be up by Dec 31, and I didn't have a review scheduled for today - only the Top Ten Tuesday post. 

Published - November 2015, Bethany House Publishers
Series - The Darkwater Saga Book 1
Author - Patrick W. Carr
Title - The Shock of Night
Format - paper, ebook
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Willet Dura works for the king. He's called to investigate when a priest is mortally injured and his associate is brutally murdered. This is a murder that has too many unanswered questions for Willet. Hoping that the priest is stable enough to answer questions, Willet seeks him out, only to discover that he is dying. With his dying breath, the priest screams in a foreign tongue and bestows on Willet a gift. As Willet comes to find out, this gifting is very rare. In fact it isn't supposed to exist. Now in addition to pursuing a murderer, Willet must learn to use his gift and come to terms with his own past.

After attempting to read Carr's debut novel, Cast of Stones, and finding it really slow moving and not holding my interest, I didn't pick up one of his books again until now. This one intrigued me from the back cover. So I figured, why not try it.

Carr has created a world that is intricate. This world reminds me in some ways of Tolkien's Middle Earth, Martin's Westeros, or Jordan's Wheel of  Time. That's a good point for a Christian fantasy author. I mean, obviously this world he created is very well done.

The characters are deep. I'm really glad that I read the prequel novella first though. Because it did help me to understand exactly what is going on in the story and where the characters are coming from. They are complex and well developed. I'm actually looking forward to more. Yet Willet was hard to understand. Even after completing the book, I'm not sure I fully understand him. I understand his struggle - that makes sense. But there is still a sens of mystery surrounding him that I'm just not clear about.

Did I like the book? Yes I did. Though I did find it moving a bit slowly. Maybe it's because Carr is building up his world and the character backstories. That's fine. I mean after all it took me til halfway through Jordan's Dragon Reborn to be hooked on the Wheel of Time, and I still can struggle with Tolkien's Middle Earth. Was it too deep for the mood I was in while reading it? Certainly. I wanted to escape to a different world, and not have to think. Yes I was able to escape to a different world in this book, but I had to think while reading it. Still it was a good book.

I received this book for free from Bethany House for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of fantasy, Tolkien

Rating - 3.5 Stars - I struggled with the rating. I enjoyed the book. It hurt my head to read because I wasn't expecting to have to think. Would I read it again? Maybe. On Goodreads/Amazon it'll round to 3 stars.

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