Review: Briarpatch

Briarpatch
Briarpatch by Tim Pratt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So this guy Darrin has a string of really bad luck. His girlfriend Bridget leaves him, he loses his job, and then his car. To top it off, he’s heading out to lunch one day and sees his old girlfriend just as she leaps off the Golden Gate bridge head first and kills herself. Next Darrin starts seeing things. Alleys and paths that aren’t supposed to be there. This place is called the Briarpatch, and with the help of Arturo, a strange guy with a strange car, Darrin is beginning to find connections between this place, the guy Bridget left him for, and Bridget’s suicide.

I found this book in the bargain area of my Chapters and was kinda skeptical about how good it would be. I expected some kind of fairy world and magical blah blah, which I tend to hate, but it also hinted at something more interesting with the suicide idea.

I was surprised in a good way when I found out that this book was not about fairies! It is actually closer to books like the Otherworld series by Tad Williams, but without the tech aspect.

Another good surprise is that this book is aimed at adults!! No whiny teen characters, no censoring of language, and overall more realistic character traits. In general, the characters were intelligent if not entirely informed, and I can’t think of any choices characters may have made that bugged me as illogical or irrational. I like fiction, not stupid fiction.

The writing was well done and interesting. There were no instances where the wording was awkward or required re-reading (unless you weren’t expecting what was said). The plot was fast-paced and didn’t focus too long on events that weren’t pertinent to the plot, while slowly revealing some of the mysteries in just the right way.

The ending was satisfying and reasonable. It closed the conflict while still leaving open the possibility to return for a sequel. All in all, a good book worth reading.

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Review: Omens

Omens
Omens by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I already miss her otherworld series, Cainsville is definitely a good substitute.

I’ve always liked Kelley Armstrong’s writing, as it is fast paced but informative, and she knows how to create a mystery. I’ve sometimes been able to predict the outcomes, but only because of following along, not because its some overused plot.

The only thing that drives me nuts are the cliffhangers. Omens wraps up nicely in a way that if you never wanted to continue with the series, it stands well on its own. However there are always subplots/mysteries and those were left with only hints (pretty good ones though). Hopefully the sequel wont take too long.

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