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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Flawed, but still enjoyable
on 10 June 2013
Ignatious Perrish (Ig) is the prime suspect in the rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin, who died a year ago. No charges have ever been brought, but everyone, including his own family, believes him to be guilty. On the anniversary of Merrin's death, Ig goes out on the mother of all benders, urinates on the Virgin Mary, and wakes up the next morning with horns. He soon discovers these horns have the power to make people reveal their darkest secrets to him and after having some fun with it, he inadvertently begins to discover more than he bargained for about Merrin's murder. In between present day chapters, the tale flashes backwards to Ig's teenage years, telling the story the will eventually end in tragedy to explain what is happening to Ig now.
The story is a great idea and the sprinklings of humour are very well done. However, where it loses me is when it suddenly diverges to flashback and stays there for chapter after chapter with no warning. There is no segue, leaving the jump feel out of place. There is also a fair amount of what seems like filler. I feel the book could have been a hundred pages shorter without really losing anything. There is excessive description of people and events that aren't actually relevant to the tale. I found myself skimming quite a lot.
This isn't a mystery as we know whodunnit fairly early on. I suppose it could be a coming of age tale, but the flashbacks feel too disjointed for that to be fully realised. It seems like a book that could have used a firm hand from an editor. The sudden changes in setting, time, place and tone don't really work for me and made it difficult for me to settle in to the story and properly care about the characters.
The ending felt rushed and didn't offer anything that felt like a resolution for me. Not that I need everything wrapped up in a neat little bow, but we'd been expected to sit through a lot of ups and downs and excessive description for very little pay off.
With all that said, I didn't actually dislike this book. It had many strong ideas, the premise was interesting and the Perrish family were very well realised. It just felt like it kept "almost" being excellent, but stayed at "quite good" instead.
I've enjoyed Locke & Key - Hill's graphic novel - and I am happy to read more from the author. Hill is clearly a talented writer with a head full of creative ideas. This one maybe just wasn't completely for me.