Constant State Of Confusion

17910313The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White
My Rating: 2/5 Stars

Walking around in a constant state of confusion might be the best way to sum up my feelings on this tale. If this muddled state actually led me to some definitive suppositions on the universe, or put me in touch with all the answers to THE INCREMENTALISTS, or even offered me a sense of well-being, I would have been okay with my scrambled brains and possibly the head scratching as well. But that wasn’t the case here. Instead, I felt a bit exhausted after finishing this tale, like I’d been running a race in the wrong direction.

The dialogue stood out for me (and there was a quite a bit of it), but not in a good way. The Old English felt a bit ham-handed, although it could just as easily have been me. But I like to think that’s not the case. Even focusing on just the modern times, the dialogue proved a bit pretentious and stilted and a bit too heavy handed. Aside from the dialogue, though, there seemed a few too many clichés. As for the pace, I’d equate it to walking through molasses.

None of the characters resonated with me. While this is fantasy, and the argument could be made that I shouldn’t have identified with the characters, I enjoy a story much more when I do. And I found myself racing to the end, so I could set this book aside and move to the next one on my TBR list.

I can’t help but feel like there was some flaw in the execution of this tale. Maybe it was a case of trying to do too much in such a short amount of time, or maybe it was a case of not doing enough, or maybe it was a case of blending universes and realms that shouldn’t be blended. But whatever it was, I found disappointment lingering on my lips.

The premise certainly intrigued me with secret societies and unbroken lineages and cheating death and making the world better and meeting in Las Vegas, but that excitement quickly dwindled away, and I was left with a tainted aftertaste.

I received this book for free through NetGalley.

Preponderance Of Nephilims

17365139The Angel Stone by Juliet Dark
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t read the first two books in this trilogy. I approached this particular conundrum as a scientific experiment to see if I could follow along with enough of the story that I didn’t feel as though I had wandered around in the woods late at night without my shoes or socks. Since my wife reads all of my reviews before I post them, she’s probably shaking her head at this point, and I’m sure I’ll hear about it later. But I was able to follow along, and I did enjoy myself, although there was a bit of a learning curve. I did miss a few inside jokes, and I did scratch my head at times when I probably should have laughed. But I laugh more than enough as it is anyway. The challenge suited me, just as the unconventional often does as well.

THE ANGEL STONE, however, took unconventionality to new heights and then proceeded to aim for the direction of Jupiter while bypassing the moon entirely. Had I read THE DEMON WITCH and THE WATER LOVER, I still would have been overwhelmed by the preponderance of nephilims and fairies and witches and the angel stone and tartan cloaks and gnomes and owls and brownies (not the edible kind) and winged monsters and pirates and trows and gargoyles and folklore and romance and Tam Lin and Luckenbooth brooches and vampires and Fairy Queens and Kings and All Hallow’s Eve and enchanted woods and the incubus.

But once my body purged those half a dozen brain cells, I actually started to enjoy my life minus that IQ point that I lost. This novel blended fantasy and historical fiction and romance with ease, and the cast of characters proved both interesting and entertaining. After all, this is a college campus, and as such, fair women are taken advantage of through spells and enchantments and imbued beverages, and men are often prone to act like shitheads, especially when alcoholic cocktails and exorbitant amounts of testosterone are involved.

But the real heart of this tale is Cailleach (half-witch/half-fey) who proves strong and admirable and quite desirable and who jumps back in time to restore the balance to fair Fairwick, NY. And in the process, she discovers a manifestation of the love that got away.

I received this book for free through NetGalley.