Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Review: When Ravens Fall

Quoth the Raven:
If you like deep character studies with considerable violence, mayhem, and a lusty ogre, When Ravens Fall might be your book. The author has crafted an interesting story in which the plot lines twist and turn, and eventually end up pulling the reader and the major players to a satisfying ending, and a well-played final confrontation. (Yeah, I got the aiming parallel from the opening to the ending. Well played.) To get there, you have to negotiate some off-putting language, the author's unique telling style, and the liberal use of head-hopping between characters. Sometimes it was quite effective; sometimes not so much; sometimes confusing.

The author has certainly created a character as bad tothe bone as the 1980s song would suggest a person could be--he was born that way. His ability to manipulate people and miraculously stay out of prison was as extraordinary as the weakness of so many people to fail to see what he really was -- a psychopathic monster. It was well played most times, though I do believe it dragged a bit when psychoanalyzing some of the secondary characters.

I'm surprised that after six months on the Amazon shelves, it appears I'm going to be the first reviewer--a rarity for me. The author's publisher must be asleep, marketing-wise and editorially. There were a number of editing issues, mostly grouped in the beginning and end, but none of that affected my rating. This book straddles the fence. I'm not a fan of vast head-hopping, I think it often defocuses the story. I'm also not a fan of gratuitous violence in a vacuum of a balanced response. The police must not exist in this part of the U.K. But I must admit I liked bow tied around the plot. Raven can caw a 4, just barely.

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