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- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Sometimes reading a book is easy and refreshing, like ice cream on a hot summer day. Sometimes it's compulsive and addicting, like a drug you just can't get enough of. And sometimes it's excruciatingly difficult, and the only thing keeping you going is your own jilted anger at all the promising reviews that tempted you, and the knowledge you have to persevere in order to allow others to avoid making your mistake.
S.M. Reine's Death's Hand fell solidly in that last category. I struggled to make it the halfway mark before finally giving up and tossing it aside. I will admit, that I had pretty good expectations for Death's Hand due to the mostly positive reviews for the work, but I came to find myself wondering if myself and other reviewers were even reading the same book.
There were a variety of reasons Reine's work fell flat, but the one that frustrated me initially and had me struggling through the early portions of the book was the distinctly odd flashback style writing. In the first several chapters we would jump around by several years sporadically, linking different events in the protagonist, Elise's life, in a disjointed and blocky manner. Even knowing that the time had altered, I often found myself pulled from the reading saying "What?" I understand that the author was trying to use flashbacks to create tension and give us a better understanding of Elise, but all it did was leave me frustrated as a choppy cliffhanger regarding Elise's fate was introduced in the first few chapters and hasn't been touched or even hinted at still halfway through the book.
This leads me to another issue with the book, which was shoddy world building. Just prior to the book we are given exceedingly short definitions for Kopis and Aspis, paranormal figures who police the relations between Heaven, Hell and Earth. There is no explanation for the magic of the world aside from this, and I still feel as if I don't understand the role of the Kopis and its hierarchy and interaction with the supernatural. The reader is just dumped into the mythos and left to sort it out with next to no actual official Kopis /Aspis action for the first half of the book to guide one along.
As for the characters, I was unable to actually like any of them. They were all flat stereotypes rather than fully dimensional people, especially Elise. I feel like someone just took the cookie cutter for "bad-ass female lead," cut her out of a piece of cardboard and left her at that. There's nothing really personal about her, yes she is determined and strong, but she's also stoic, and almost apathetic. Nothing softens her, no sense of humor, no sense of humanity, nothing to balance her hard edges. She's not likeable as a person, and it was hard to sympathize with her because of this.
Another big thing for me was the dialogue, which could have really assisted in making Elise and her partner, James, more likable, and really furthered the story in terms of quality. But there was a lot lacking here as well, as most of the dialogue was fluff that tended to detract from, rather than add to the readability of the story.
Finally, the plot: this is the one thing that really grabbed my interest, and even after I've given up on the book I'm half tempted to skip to the last page to get a bit of resolution. Despite the disrupting flashbacks, through them we get a hint of a grand paranormal battle looming until the flashbacks end and that thread is left untouched. Present day Elise is retired but still dabbling in the paranormal world as an accountant, and with a paranormal summit coming up, a local child possession to deal with, and bodies disappearing from local graves, the elements are building to promise a decent storyline, if it wasn't marred by the choppy timeline and lackluster characters.
Conclusion: 2.5 stars.
I will not read this author again.
I would not recommend this book to anyone else.
I will be deleting this from my kindle.