Below is the review I've posted to Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.
I forgot to also mention in it that I didn't like the author's chapter breaks either; rather than ending a scene with a cliff hanger or interesting lead, he just broke the scene itself in half. An unclean gimmick instead of an artful break.
I didn’t make it all the way down in The Long Way Down.
It’s not that it’s a *bad* book, it’s actually a decent book, and a fun one. I made it just over halfway before finally deciding I wasn’t interested enough to continue, and had almost given up a couple times before that. I picked it up because it sounded similar to a story I’d written a long time ago, the cover was very alluring, and it just sounded like fun.
I’m not a big Urban Fantasy fan, but this one makes a damn good fit for the genre: a former private eye and modest sorcerer operating in the mystic underground of Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a good fit for me.
Stuff I liked:
- The detective work he does is well done and realistic, like going to the county clerk’s office for property records.
- The world building is kinda cool. The author obviously knows Vegas and what a great place for this kind of story. And I liked the underground community of odd magicians he gathered together, as well as the corporate cult of bad guys.
- Though I didn’t get through enough of the book to get all of the character development for the hero, it was there. Flashbacks and hallucinations make a scattered attempt at giving him some background, but it’s kind of few and far between, and feels a little forced.
Stuff I didn’t like:
- It’s written with what I can only call the Joss Whedon voice. A lot of quick quips, sarcastic comments, and clever comebacks. Everyone’s a snarky hipster, which gets on my nerves quickly. To me it sounds less like how real people talk and more like a corny TV show. A lot of readers (and TV viewers) like that, and if you do you’ll enjoy that voice here too. But I don’t.
- Similarly, the book reads kind of like a fun comic book and less noir as I’d like. (Though he certainly makes a lot of effort to sound noir-ish by using—sometimes over using—old narration tropes and clichés.) This also made it kind of weird for me that he’d dip into such dark places as snuff films and still handle it with that corny Whedon voice.
- The second most important character in the book is a stylish demonic hottie who dresses like an Anime chick, drives a sports car, and has a crush on the loser magician. Again, too comic book/CW TV series for me, and I just didn’t buy that a demon prince’s right hand would give a damn about the hero. (Granted, as far as I had gotten into it, she hadn’t gone all in for dating him yet, but she was heading that way, and that didn’t work for me.)
Overall, I firmly believe that a lot of readers will love this book. And I certainly didn’t hate it, but… It just wasn’t for me. 3 stars.