Monday, April 20, 2015

Something Red (Something Red #1) by Douglas Nicholas

I read Something Red by Douglas Nicholas with a sense of déjà vu.   At first, I thought that it reminded me of some historical movie I had seen.  Then, I thought it might remind me of Game of Thrones.  It was only when I had read 2/3 of the book that I realized that I have read this book before!  I am not sure forgetting the plot the second time around is a good sign.  But I will say that after a really slow start, the book did pick up and I ended up enjoying the richness of the language—even if I did not enjoy the plot so much.
            First thing to know is that Something Red was written by a poet.  Why is this relevant?  It is important because Nicholas does a commendable job describing things with an attention to detail.  The problem is just that there was too much description.  I felt like I was slogging through pages and pages of sentences with clause after clause.  While lovely and evocative, these descriptions did nothing for me in terms of the plot.  I felt like I was slogging through the mud.
            The plot centers on a group of travelers during the Middle Ages.  Maeve, the leader, is an Irish healer who some believe to be a witch.  She travels with Jack, a strong but damaged man, her granddaughter, Nemain, and a boy named Hob.  As the travelers go from monastery, to inn to castle, they meet many other people who are dwelling in the forest.  Unfortunately, a malevolent force is traveling with them too.  The battle at the end of Something Red is a battle between the forces of good and evil.
            While my main problem was with the long, descriptive passages, I also had some issues with the dialect some of the characters used.  It was difficult for me to decipher at times.  There is a good plot in Something Red, but you have to slog through many pages to get to the next move forward in the story.  I am hoping that the next book in the series is longer on plot and shorter on description.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Regina

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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