Recent Reading

So! Just read RA MacAvoy’s new book, DEATH AND RESURRECTION. I really enjoyed it! Really! MacAvoy hasn’t forgotten how to write! I really liked Ewen (the main character) and the secondary characters were well drawn. I enjoyed how MacAvoy made one police character a poet and the other a Mormon. I enjoyed the way Susan dyed her hair blond (she is Indian or part-Indian and fiercely defends her right to dye her hair any color she chooses).

I admit, not too crazy about the wolf-dog hybrid. Not usually crazy about super-obedient super-tough dogs in books. The writers seldom seem to know what real dogs are like and have them act like programmable robots instead of like real dogs. PLUS WOLF HYBRIDS ARE NOT SUPER OBEDIENT. Adding wolf blood does not exactly make a dog easy to train, hello? Although to be fair MacAvoy implied that there was not a lot of wolf in that dog. Still didn’t like it.

But that’s me, and personal. Here’s a more substantive comment: this book is kind of like a novella plus some related stories, rather than an actual novel.

See, there’s this big bad evil thing? And it gets defeated. And everything after that, which is about half the book, seems like an afterthought. Or really a series of disconnected afterthoughts. If I’d been editing this book — and I definitely do not claim major editing mojo — but it seems obvious to me that MacAvoy should have either a) put the defeat of the big bad evil thing at the end, or b) had some other problem that was in some way worse than the big bad evil thing, was foreshadowed early, and was dealt with in the second half of the book.

As it was . . . every part of the book was enjoyable, but it doesn’t seem very coherent as a single work. Plus, nothing after the defeat of the monster carries the increased sense of danger or urgency or importance that you would expect to see as a story builds toward the end. It’s as though you climb up a mountain . . . and then rather than being carried over a cliff by an avalanche, just clamber calmly down the other side.

So . . . hard to rate this book. I liked it! I will re-read it! I recommend it! But all with caveats.

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