Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Camelot Shadow: A NovelThe Camelot Shadow: A Novel by Sean Gibson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am able to review this thanks to Sean's gifting of this novel. Thank you!

That being said, on to the review. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed the novel right after we left the Alzheimer's Saint Scholar, because that's when all the action started revving up. I tore through the rest like I was on a rampage and I enjoyed the zombies and canopic-jar-sheath holding Nigel's power as well as the fight scenes. They were very well done fight scenes, with just enough tease and breaks at fantastically annoying places that left me hungry for more. They held my attention, and I'll be honest, fight scenes usually don't do it too well for me. I prefer my movies for that kind of thing. This hit me on the nose, though.

What dragged me down was initial slowness of the novel. Sure, victorian lit often had slow bits, but sometimes, like with Charles Dickens, he can move things along like lightning when he wants to. In this case, I wanted to rev things up for quite some time. There might have been an easier way to get the feel of scholarship without dwelling so long on it. It's not Possession, after all. It had more of a feel of a Victorian Dan Brown mystery for the first half of the novel, which is fine as far as that goes, but I'll be honest... I got a bit bored. Still, I appreciated what it was trying to do and worked harder to keep my focus on the tale, and I'm glad I did.

I enjoyed the conflict of themes and those characters that embodied them. I loved how every single character introduced eventually had the spotlight.
Mr. Gibson never had a qualm about killing his darlings, which I really appreciated, and more so when I got to see how those were reused. Waste not, want not. There was never a wasted character.

I suppose I want to complain about one other thing, though. The prelude was like a D&D story, tempting me to believe that the novel was going to be *that* kind of story, so I was rather jarred when the novel started up and continued to be like nothing like the prelude for most of the novel. Sure, it did get explained, eventually, but I was a bit annoyed, especially because it seemed like a lot of promise that I was told I might never taste. You know, the social contract of writers and readers. In this case, it was a minor thing, because all is right with the world after finishing the novel, but it did boot me out of the illusion several times.

Again, not a deal-breaking issue

I enjoyed the tale, and I have no qualms about reading more. I had fun!

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