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Michelle CH

Currently reading

Death Comes for the Archbishop
Willa Cather
Progress: 200/297 pages
A.S. Byatt
Progress: 17/555 pages
Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally
Alisa Smith, J.B. MacKinnon
Progress: 45 %
The Rook - Daniel O'Malley 2.5 stars

I suppose the lesson here is that you can start out great, want to quit and then can continue onward and upward to finish a so-so book. I know that life is too short to read bad books, but I couldn't help myself. There were tiny bits of greatness in each page that really, really wanted to come out. Myfawny (rhymes with Tiffany - and thank you to the author for telling us this early on) Thomas wakes up in a park surrounded by dead bodies all wearing plastic gloves. Now doesn't that sound promising?

She's lost her memory so buckle up because we are on a ride to find out what has happened. There are supernatural shenanigans going on and lots of potentially interesting characters. There is the Gestalt, four bodies (three male and one female) all controlled by one mind but so clever that whoever interacts with Gestalt doesn't remember that one mind is controlling all. And they are supposedly pretty sassy to boot.

The Grafters are a bit gross but also intriguing, their whole purpose is to mix and meld people parts to create a super race. They are medieval and rather interesting. They want it all: power, fame and, of course Myfawny.

With such a rich selection of interesting folks loitering about you would think pages would be turning quick and fast. Unfortunately no.

The biggest hump is around page 100 - if you get over that, you are pretty home free and can manage through the rest because of course you are now 'invested' in how it turns out.

Issues I had were that it became more and more nonsensical. I can appreciate all kinds of craziness but the ending felt really rushed and some of the earlier set ups no longer seemed plausible ie. her sister (she never knew about) shows up and we continue on with no real understanding of how she fits in. The reader also gets shuttled about mid-point to the end and the original point of finding out why Myfawny is in a field with dead bodies gets lost.

The good: 1. the mystery and the letters
2. urban fantasy is always interesting: the poor public is drifting about in the middle of supernatural conflicts without a clue, mass killings = a coverup
3. the idea that there is a greater secret society (the Chequy) that handily deals with all of the paranormal incidents that might cause a hiccup in society (similar to Ghostbusters) while the general public goes about their business.

Don't think I will be picking up the sequel.