Saturday, January 19, 2013
Source: free Advance Reader's Copy from the publisher via Shelf Awareness for my honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this slim little book when it arrived on my doorstep in the form of an ARC from Shelf Awareness. It is a novel written in seven stories -- there is a journalist, an archaeologist, an airman, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking -- how's that for a cast of characters?! The first story takes place several decades in the future and the others go back in time from there. As a reader, you know they have to be connected, but you don't really know how. They all take place on the same mysterious island and each one has characters with some variation of the names "Eric" and "Merle," but they are so different in each story you are left wondering and guessing. It wasn't until the last two stories that I was really able to start connecting the dots and at that point, I was truly mesmerized.
The writing could be a bit simple and sparse in places, but in many others it was nothing short of poetic. The ending of this one was a bit of a punch in the gut, but it is a beautifully told story nonetheless. As I turned the last page, all I really wanted to do was flip back to the beginning and re-read it. It's the kind of book that doesn't all make sense until the very end, so re-reading it would be it's own unique experience. Despite it's short length, I can guarantee I missed things the first time through -- things I didn't realize would be relevant to the story as a whole, but would now be crystal-clear.
The expected publication date is February 5, 2013, but I believe it's already been published in the UK, where the author is from. So whether you can get a hold of this book now or in the near future, it's definitely one I highly recommend.
This book counts toward my reading goals for:
2013 ARC Reading Challenge
Embarrassment of Riches TBR Reading Challenge 2013