Sunday, 21 September 2014

Review of "Some Veil Did Fall"*

I was kindly given Some Veil Did Fall by Choc Lit to review before it is published. Sadly, as much as I've loved Monsoon Mists (see review here) and Follow Me Follow You (see review here) I really wasn't amazed by this book. A quick description of the book made it sound really good and I was so looking forward to it, but unfortunately it didn't quite live up to expectations. Perhaps I expected too much, or perhaps the uncanny effect of it was lost on me after just completing The Woman in the Dunes, which captured the uncanny perfectly, but either way, it just didn't thrill me.

The plot centres around two sets of characters: Jon and Becky, and Adam and Ella. However, these characters aren't entirely separate. Jon and Becky are old friends who by chance are reunited in Gothic Whitby (aka the setting of Dracula). Adam and Ella similarly live in Whitby, but over 100 years before Jon and Becky. Their paths overlap in spooky and occasionally unnerving ways. Without giving away too much of the plot, Ella and Adam manage to communicate from beyond the grave, so that their story can be told, even if it is through someone else's eyes (literally!). 

There are a couple of reasons why I wasn't enamoured with this book, but also one or two which kind of redeemed it. I really felt as though Jon and Becky's characters weren't developed in the book. Becky herself was also not an entirely believable character at all. Maybe it's just me being cynical, but I certainly wouldn't immediately tell someone that I thought a ghost was trying to channel something through me ... The book really picked up when Ella and Adam got to tell their own story, without all this "ghost" business. It felt as though a lot of effort had been put into the historical aspect of the novel, which is potentially why the whole beyond the grave aspect didn't really feel explained well enough, or have enough of an introduction to make it believable.

Anyway, we're done with the negatives now. What probably saved this novel in my opinion was the last few chapters. Once I'd stuck it out to about 80% of the way through the novel (you can thank my kindle for those figures) it actually got to be quite good. The plot picked up a great deal and eventually got me hooked. And the ending ... well, let's just say it was (almost) worth waiting for! It really made you think about the rest of the book, and personally, I love endings that do that.

Would you read this? 

Steph x 

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