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Showing posts from May, 2011

Review: The White Devil

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Justin Evans hopefully had a much more enjoyable experience as an American student abroad than he gives Andrew in his latest novel, The White Devil.  As a former student, the author provides the story with a level of authenticity of living conditions only he could share.

However, the school is not as interesting nor as well-examined, as I would have hoped — though that's because his characters did not leave room for a dank, damp, drafty old school.

Andrew is sent overseas to straighten out his life at Harrow, an an English boarding school his father declares is his son's "last chance" at — redemption, regret, attitude adjustment, maybe all of the above.  Alas, his uncanny resemblance to a famous, beautiful alumnus draws the attention from an unlikely source: the school ghost.

This is not just any old ghost.  Rather, this one is linked to a larger-than-life Harrow alumnus steeped in lore and mystery — and, most importantly, romance.

Being inside the head of a teenag…

Review: The Summer of Night

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I am a fan of Dan Simmons.  I loved the shocking rollercoaster that was Drood and enjoyed greatly the complex Native American lore of Black Hills.  I didn't mind too much when he took his time getting to where he was getting because I figured it would be interesting.

When Summer of Night took its sweet time, I thought it was par for the course.  I also had a flashback to The Terror, a book that gave me nightmares and took too long to even start.  I nearly stopped reading once or twice: once because it involved a situation with an animal (which was telegraphed from the beginning) and once because it was boring.  Only an early tease prompted me to keep going.

In the end, I found it a long trip on a short road.  It wasn't bad, but it could have been tighter, which would have made it more intense.

A school in a small midwestern town is closing due to low enrollment.  However, a child goes missing on the last day of school, and administrators seem unconcerned because his family is …