M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Monday, October 19, 2015

One Murder, Two Murders, Three Murders, More? Plus Protagonistcide.

    Yah gotta be remarkable to survive for fourteen books. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child persevere by writing about murder most ingenious, so ingenious that their main sleuth, Aloysius Pendergast almost didn't survive this book. Yeah. Obviously, I kept reading Blue Labyrinth. It's a complex mystery filled with arcane lore by accomplished masters of the art.

   What's not to like, besides the chilling spook factor, common in most of the Pendergast books. It barely registers in this volume? The book concentrates on fast moving twists and turns between two interrelated murders of the mundane kind.

   Turns out Pendergast's fabulous fortune is based on a grandfather's lethal patent medicine, and the main villain seeks revenge on Pendergast. Sounds like a simple enough except for all those twists and turns. Plus, the secondary characters get to shine as they put the pieces of the puzzle together to save a cantankerous friend and mentor.

   Yeah, super sleuth Pendergast is brought low by an villain seeking revenge for crimes he didn't personally commit, but I thought the writers a little too coy. I felt they took too long to introduce the mastermind. You have a super obsessive behavior here, ready to carry revenge unto the third and fourth generations. I would have liked more details on the ultimate villain in this episode of Pendergast's dealings. The authors gave the villain way to short a shrift.

   On the plus side, I didn't get annoyed that the book was 500+ pages. I'm guessing that super-short chapters do speed up the reading of a book. Granted you still read in information-arcs, but they seem to speed along, helped by action and questions and unsuspected murders and with the clues buried in the vaults of the New York Museum of Natural History. [It's inspiration is one of our must-sees when we go to New York City.] Anthropology gets as good of PR from Preston & Child as Aaron Elkins gives forensics.

   This story is character driven with the secondary characters given important roles in the sleuthing. Granted I always feel that Pendergast is a little too invincible to be true, but the team makes the "hero" super vulnerable in Labyrinth, leaving the other characters to solve the conundrums of fast-paced, twisting plot.

    Highly recommended. Make sure you block out good-sized reading sessions because the odds are this book won't have you reading "one more chapter" past your bedtime, but five or six or more. The time adds up even if the chapters are short.

Read excerpts and more reviews of Blue Labyrinth on Amazon and B&N Nook.
There's also sample chapters of Crimson Shore, the next book in the series.

My Writing Rut

Ta Dah!

    Would you believe I got my demon attack on the Beccon Academy first-drafted? Heh. Heh. I'm not going to tell you what happened, other than Pillar survived. Soon she'll be on the road again. Excuse me while I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.

   May have to change the cover for On the Run. Found this lovely picture of a house that's almost perfect for the book's middle. Just thought I'd share it to show how I waste time on the internet. Need to get an ending on the book before I try to fiddle with anything else. Yeah it's going to be another demon fight, but she soon meets an ally.
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