First, a disclaimer: I know the author. That said, if I didn’t like the book I would quietly say nothing rather than lie about it in a review. It’s amazing how quietly I can say nothing.
A second disclaimer: I am absolutely rubbish at writing reviews.
Anyway, onwards and sideways!
I drop books fast. I don’t have much reading time and I’m not going to waste it reading something that isn’t awesome. This means my GoodReads profile kinda looks like I gush over everything I read, but that’s because there’s zero chance of me finishing a three star book and even a four star book has a pretty good chance of getting dropped unless it hooks me early. I never review anything I don’t finish.
Junkies and princes and religion and backstabbing and betrayal and oh-so-much-blood and violence and several times I stopped reading and said, “Holy fuck!”
Yeah, it was good.
But the writing blew me away. It infected me. I actually had to set aside my own work in progress because Anna’s voice kept sneaking in there. Suddenly I was trying to write an Anna Smith Spark book. At first I wasn’t sure why. Her prose is sometimes abrupt, sometimes long and languid. The story jumps between past and present tense, something I’ve experimented with and failed horribly at. The majority of the characters are despicable, even if they hide it well.
And then it hit me: It’s music. Hear the words in your head, pay attention to the meter, the beats, the way the words flow into each other, the sounds and syllables. Anna paints in words, sings in prose. She’s an artist, not just a writer. I understand how this might not work for some folks. If you want simple workmanlike prose that won’t challenge you, this might not be the book for you. If you want to be reminded how effective, beautiful, and brutal language can be, you definitely want to read this.
This is a fantastic book and I loved it! Can’t wait for the next one!