Book Review # 1

I know it’s been quite a while since I posted, so this one is special. I’m taking part of Bethany House’s Blogger Review Program (Free books for me, just a review here and on a retailer’s website). This month, I’m reviewing Patrick W. Carr’s new book, The Shock of Night. (Warning, spoilers)

The official blurby description thingy, from Bethany House’s website, is below:

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded, Willet Dura, reeve to the king of Bunard, is called to investigate. As he begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to his task, but the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers, and his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, as though he can divine their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he’s been passed the rarest gift of all–a gift that’s not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he’s pulled into a dangerous conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world–a conflict  that will force him to come to terms with his inability to remember how he escaped the Darkwater Forest–and what happened to him inside it.

For anyone who read and enjoyed Karen Hancock’s Legends of the Guardian-King, Wayne Thomas Batson’s Door Within or Dark Sea Annals, and especially Patrick W. Carr’s previous series, The Staff and the Sword, this book is for you.

Because I read The Staff and the Sword series, I noticed the immediate resemblance. The importance of the church, the use of special talents and gifts for the use of the church, and the seeming death of the hero but also his recovery.

One of the things I didn’t like about this book is that it jumped right into the world and into the intricacies of the church, without real explanation of how it worked. It was revealed later in the book, but it just jumped in and was rather confusing for a while. To be honest, there are still some things I don’t fully understand. What made it easier in his other series was that the main character was a drunkard who had learned very little about how their kingdom and church worked, so as he learned, the reader learned. However, I just learned that there is an introductory novella, which, presumably, introduces you better to the world in which you’re to dive into.

For another thing, because it was confusing, I didn’t feel I got to know the characters that well, This was one of the things i very much enjoyed about his Staff and Sword series; the characters felt like real people and the book was hard to put down. However, some characters, like Bolt, were well developed, and I liked them.

Also, in the beginning of the book, it talks about two laws given, one of which i can’t remember, and the other one was that mining was not allowed. However, this was hardly mentioned again. I feel like the author could have done a lot more with that law.

I think this book has the potential to be very good, but I also think it could use some more editing.

For those of you who are going to read this book, don’t  stop after the first couple pages seem boring. It’s a good story and I really did enjoy it once I got into it.

Let me know what you think 🙂

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