2.0 out of 5 stars
Saint Snograss Preserves Us, 24 Feb 2012
Yes I mean preserves... because for large part of this book I felt I was wading through jam... and although sweet enough it was sticky and messy, which made me tempted to wash my hands of it on several occasions. I persevered because I thoroughly enjoyed the first book... and the few clues to the irritations that surfaced in this book were amiable enough to be ignored, although they were noted. The constant harping back and forth between the female characters, Reg included, lost any amusement appeal after the first two chapters.
The harping and bickering became so bad they slowed the story down to the point where I wanted to step off and catch another book... which I did, several times... but I returned to finish it off because its what I do - I mean, I got fed up with the Thomas Covenant Chronicles after Book 2 but still I read them all, even knowing well before the end of the series that I would be totally dissatisfied at the final outcome. I hate to say this, and I have never done it before, but I am tempted to skip the 3rd book (based on reviews) and go straight to the 4th... perhaps I won't but I am seriously tempted.
The trouble is that I find the individual characters amusing, engrossing and interesting and there is so much that Karen Miller could do with them. The spits and spats, the bickering and the use of amateurish sayings and archaic insults detract from a potentially first class series of books. When Karen gets into the flow the dross disappears and things get very interesting, exciting and often very intriguing.
So please Karen, cut back on the peripheral visions and allow your characters some leeway, let them find their voices and the confidence to unleash their various talents - allow the romances to grow, let Reg back into the fold as a full-blown character and avoid the jam.
I have only given this book 2 stars - I didn't review the 1st but would gladly have given it 4 stars - knowing that with a little growth, character development and writing style confidence it could grow into 5 stars in the next volume.
Alas, not the case.