Archive for April 2008
… reading this was a strange experience because of my enjoyment of reading books with a torturer for a hero/antihero and because it took me from one surreal image after another: giant mermaids who swim the currents of time as well as they swim in water; an alien in love with an artificially lovely woman; the necropolis; eating the flesh of a woman one loves so one could digest her psyche; a woman revived from death; a dying world to be revived by destruction… terribly out of this world.
highly imaginative (how else do we describe a story about a carpet harboring an entire world and race of creatures?)
too long winded… and preachy somehow. maybe the time i was reading it, i was getting fed up with cynic authors demolishing ‘God’ in the guise of fantasy writing.
totally gripping… but then again, maybe i have been sorely missing SF without me realizing it. Alien fans, you’ll love this. though, i do find Cat’s tendency to insert the heroine’s lust for the hero at very inopportune times (like in the middle of being chased by gore-hungry aliens) rather comedic. anyway, i agree with the blurb… a science fiction thriller.
The Historian must have taken all the slow-moving chills from those black and white horror movies of the early to mid20th century and translated them into a novel that makes one remember that dread is more terrifying than horror.
This book moves with an intensity that has nothing to do with pace but with a depth of concentration that few novels could match.
Here the brilliance of the intellect defies the darkness of superstition… but is Dracula really just a collection of fairy tales that have grown into a monster over the centuries? or is he an evil so powerful that intellect must ally with faith so Good and all those we hold dear can prevail?
Three threads play out to their respective, each startling, ends. a father who hides his grief from his daughter, a mentor who has forgotten something so dear to him, and a young girl who must grow up quickly so she can save her father.
In THE HISTORIAN, scholarly sleuthing has never been so important, so exciting, and so terrible… the price of research was almost always more than they can bear; they had to choose between the doom of never knowing and the doom of finding out more than they bargained for.
Meanwhile, as they went deeper into history, the world opened up before us, taking us into exotic cities and countries, making us see and hear , smell and taste, and feel their strangeness, yet recognize their similarities.
Lovers of books are also placed in a quandary. When the prince of evil himself shares our passion, are we dismayed or are we nurturing a weapon that may turn against us someday?
Or do we just help turn a cliche into literary elegance?
Those who read this debut work either really love the author or absolutely hate her… no middle ground. the reserved style of writing, the scholastic approach to the mystery, the preponderance of coincidences, the open-ended ending have turned off as many as they hooked…
We have to realize..it’s that kind of book. i am overpowered with lovely wit where many would dismiss the drag. kostova gives us the ingredients of goth without the trashy make-up. she attunes her energy to the amygdala, that part of the brain that controls fear or creates it, keeping it charged, unhampered by a seemingness of normalcy or maybe feeding off from it.
I look forward to Kostova’s next book; I will wait ten years of more for it. and when it does arrive, it would be worth the wait… she’s that kind of author.