*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review.*
This book was… strange. The main character was strange. His husband was strange. The town was strange. The story was strange. I don’t mean it was bad or poorly written, just… strange, and maybe not quite for me. And I don’t really know how to explain it (but I’ll try).
For one thing, all the characters seemed to act so secretive for most of the book (though the two main characters got better about that toward the end). It was never a malicious type of secretive—in Sam’s case it was more like, “I know what’s best for my husband and therefore know that he shouldn’t get to know these things,” in Michael’s case it was more like he was just aloof, and in the other characters’ cases (like Hank’s) it was more just cryptic—but I couldn’t help but feel there was no real reason for it and everything could’ve gone a lot smoother had everyone just talked.
Speaking of which, the characters themselves got on my nerves a bit. Sam was a bit judgmental (to be fair, he was kind of living in a town full of cryptics and strangeness, so I could understand some of his exasperation) and terse, and I didn’t like how he thought he knew what was best for Michael. He wasn’t a bad guy or anything, but I had a hard time connecting to him. Maybe it had something to do with how his military and sheriff background affected him. And Michael, I just couldn’t get a handle on his character. It was like he barely spoke throughout the book, and when he did, it was always kind of odd, and I just couldn’t warm up to him either. My favorite character was actually Digger, one of the deputies. He was an adorable, naive sweetheart, and I felt bad for him with the way Sam and everyone were always messing with him.
For another thing, the whole book had this kind of… not eerie, exactly, but a similar vibe to it. There was some paranormal stuff going on, and it was all set in this little mountain town in Colorado, but I think the vibe had more to do with Sam’s voice than anything.
The book also didn’t really have a specific goal. It was mostly just about Sam trying to understand Michael’s curse/gift and the weird stuff going on in his town. It was all slow-paced, and there was no action-packed climax, just a kind of fizzling out toward the end that wrapped things up.
So as I said, this wasn’t a bad book, but I just couldn’t connect to the characters, the story was more general mysteriousness than actual plot, and altogether it just wasn’t quite for me.
*Note: This review is for the second edition, full-length novel.*
Anyone looking for something kind of mysterious and paranormal with a slow pace and not much action.
It sucks when you can’t connect to characters. It usually tends to sour me on a book, so you did well with this — it sounds like you’d reather a series if it gave you more to make sense of these characters.
Yeah, it’s tough to like a book when I don’t connect to the characters. But I just don’t think these were the types of characters I was ever going to connect with.
I think this one would frustrate me to no end! lol
It’s definitely frustrating when characters don’t talk even when it would make so much more sense if they did!
Sounds so…. strange! 😛
But joke aside, too bad you didn’t like it more but it is what it is. It sucks when we can’t connect with characgers or then they are judgamental (although I am okay with characters being judgamental if that’s a part of their personality, but only when one character is like that, not everyone in the book).
I hope your next read will be better.
I’m so glad you understand, I wasn’t sure if that fact that it was strange really came through or not… 😉
Yeah, it’s tough to like a book when you don’t connect with the character. I know judgmental characters can be completely realistic, and I respect the author’s characterization, but I just don’t tend to like them. This guy wasn’t so bad with the judgmental-ness, but I guess it was just enough to irk me when combined with the other things.
I hate it when a lot of things can be cleared up if the characters just communicated, but they don’t. It just seems to me in RL if this weird shit was going on you’d, like, talk about it ya know? The premise is kinda cool, one guy beingin tune with the mystical stuff and the mountains… skinwalkers got my attention. Too bad it just didn’t click.
The slow pace and not much action would be an issue for me too I imagine.
Exactly. Sometimes I don’t mind characters not communicating because sometimes it’s realistic. But this was one of those cases when I just couldn’t see any reason for keeping things from each other. But yeah, the premise sounded good. I don’t always mind slow pace, but I do like there to be a more focused plot and goal.
It sure sounds like a strange book and like it wasn’t quite the book for you. Although your initial summary of the book does sound interesting. I am not a fan of secretive behavior like that, especially when all the characters seem to act secretive and things would have gotten solved so much faster if they all talked. I like it when characters talk things through. I don’t like reading about judgemental characters, even when it does make sense, I still don’t like that type of behavior. That eerie vibe does sound original, if a bit creepy as well. Great review!
Yeah, I mean, I can see why other people like it, but it just wasn’t for me. The secretive stuff bothered me. And he wasn’t horribly judgmental, but it was just enough that it kinda bothered me, especially since it was usually about his husband. Thanks!
That book doesn’t sound like me either. It sounds strange. I guess it’s sorta a nod to Stephen King maybe with the shop being Needful Things. Stephen King is big on strangeness. Like Under the Dome and The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon.
They did mention Stephen King in regards to the shop name, but I’ve never read any Stephen King so I didn’t even consider the possibility that the whole book might be kind of a nod to him. Could be!
I shared your review of this here: http://letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com/2017/01/happy-new-year-lgbt-book-reviews-around.html
Thanks for sharing and letting me know!