The Apocalypse has never seemed so dull!,
This review is from: A Kiss Before the Apocalypse (Remy Chandler Novels (Paperback)) (Mass Market Paperback)
What happens when an angel of the lord settles on earth and starts earning a living as a private investigator? Unfortunately not a lot.
The concept behind this story in an interesting one but in no way does the plot live up to the pitch. The author breaks one of the cardinal rules of writing ; SHOW dont TELL!! The reader is dictated everything. There are no instances of showing and the reader is treated as an idiot most of the time by having things spelled out for them. For example 'Francis dropped to his knees, his head beginning to swim. Losing as much blood as he had usually had that sort of effect.' Really?! I'm so glad I have been enlightened to something so obvious.
After having the read the book I had very little idea of what any of the characters looked like. There was very little that defined them as being more than names on a page. There was no character development; Mulvehill in particular was a completely wasted character. He had no relevance to anything in the plot. The author clearly thinks that character development means repeatedly hammering his readers over the head with Remy's angst, moaning on and on about how he can't forget what he really is. Enough already! I get it. You can't forget you're an angel - STOP TELLING ME!
The characters were cardboard cut-outs, plodding through a weak, under-developed plot. Everyone is searching for the five scrolls that if opened will summon the horsemen to bring on the apocalypse. You'd think there'd be some mystery and drama involved in finding these scrolls, but no. Remy finds them very easily, thus wasting a hige opportunity to inject some excitement into the flat narrative. The supposed 'twists' and 'revelations' at the climax were neither surprising nor interesting, just...blah. Perhaps if the characters had been developed beyond a name the twists might have had more effect.
The book seems to be attempting to demonstrate shades of grey through its depiction of the Grigori and the Black Choir but no time is spent developing either so the attempt falls flat.
What I found particularly infuriating where the repeated dream sequences and flashbacks. I counted eight in total. In a book that only numbers 269 pages, this is far too many.
At the 'climax' (if you can call it that) the POV undergoes some headhopping, switching from Remy to Francis, and Maddie and even Remy's dog!! Headhopping is a sin I used to be guilty of when I first started writing stories as a teenager. It is something I have cured myself of and I would have expected a published author to be the same.
The antagonists were not particularly menacing and it hard to see the Black Choir as too frightening. An bunch of angry monkeys beat Remy worse than the Choir did.
In a book about the apocalypse, there is no sense of drama, or intrigue, just a series of bland events plodding along at snail's pace. It fails to engage on any level. The few times the author does try and inject some spark into his lifeless prose, he just hurls in a bunch of adjectives. 'A look of extreme hatred on his normally emotionless face, shockingly morphed into a twisted smile' - this kind of writing is cluttered and amatuerish.
The only points of any interest were the interaction between Remy and his dog. Marlowe had a speech pattern all his own and as such was probably the most developed character in the book. The other plus point was the interaction Remy had with his wife. Without giving too much away, she has aged and he hasnt. I thought the author handled this situation rather well but these really were the only plus points in a dreary, boring little book that I wouldnt recommend to anyone.