Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Book Review: The Long Way Down

One of my New Years Resolutions was to read at least four novels this year and to review them (especially since I hope people will review my books).  Today I gave up on this book, which I had nearly dropped a couple times before.  My reading time is just so limited that unless a book really drives me to pick it up and keep reading, I eventually lose interest.

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 clich├ęs.)  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.

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