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Maven Books

Reviews about historical, literary, classic, and other fiction.  Miscellaneous book things.

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Days of Greatness
Walter Kempowski
Yevgeny Zamyatin, Clarence Brown

The Black Isle by Sandi Tan

The Black Isle - Sandi Tan

I don't usually read books with supernatural or horror themes, but the historical aspect of this book drew my interest. It had a fairly strong start, and the writing seemed pretty good at first, with great attention to detail and vivid imagery. However, that strong start and writing style didn't continue, and it soon started to lack something.The writing seemed to drop a lot of the fine detail and quality, and the plot started jumping ahead very quickly, without explaining a lot of the jumps or what had happened in between. Eventually, the storyline devolved into what felt like a V.C. Andrews novel or a really trashy soap opera, complete with incest and unexplained plot developments. Some of the characters weren't really well-explained or well-developed, and there were a lot of inconsistencies in some of the things they did or said. Some of what went on just felt strange and unrealistic -- besides the ghosts, that is -- and I just felt like the author was struggling to keep things going.I just had to quit reading eventually, and I wish I hadn't wasted my time on what I did read.