My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Something of the description of this from the Library Thing‘s Early Reviewer list got my attention, but I don’t remember what, which is odd for me – I thought something about Lovecraftian meets Holmes. The genre is not one I frequent so I have a short measuring stick with which to compare it. I got this advance read from Raw Dog Screaming Press via Library Thing.
For me, it was slow to get into…the scene shifts with teaser hints may have been designed to engage and drawn in, but I found the abrupt transitions to be off-putting – and the development slow and disconcerting. Again, no comparator, so that may be the norm. (This review is my impression, and I always allow that others may like something more than I…) The pace did pick up in the last third, racing to the end, but leaving me wondering “what did I just read?” The connections to the un/supernatural seemed tenuous for a novel written in that vein, and the detective elements underdeveloped, but I do understand that this is the first in the series and that the authors are trying to set a stage for the follow-ons. But I found the unnatural elements too odd to grab me. (Remember, these are my impressions…your mileage may vary…everyone sees things from their own cultural, experiential perspective!) I had no issue with the Kiwi perspective…that was stimulating.
Now, I did find the main two characters engaging – reasonably defined and at times funny, though the unnatural connector through the brother not quite defined – but the secondary characters (police, parents, perps, …) interchangeably superfluous, though the brother thread seemed deliberately obscured, teasing references that for some might invoke “tell me more”, and for others, “any time now…” And there were oddly melodramatic interjections like “It’s heavy, weighted with the sorrows of untold ages past.”
Pop culture observation #1: Ms. J. K. Rowling might be flattered at a reference – [something was] “stabbed like a Horcrux”
Great line note #1: “Don’t disbelieve everything you can’t find on the internet.” [Love it!!]
Overall, I’d like to see more depth with the two mains, and this piqued my curiosity.