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|Print List Price:||£11.99|
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Conduit (An Emily Monroe Novel, Book One) Kindle Edition
|Length: 357 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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I have been trying to come up with the right word to describe this (and writing like it), because I encounter it a lot. Maybe someone knows and can help me out. We all recognize a Mary Sue and Gary Stu (sometime Marty Stu), but what do you call it when the whole book--plot, narrations, characters, etc all have a Mary Sue feel to them. Pat, maybe?
I actually have a litmus test for this, even if I don't have a title for it. My test is hugging. But what could hugging have to do with anything, you might ask? Well, it has been my experience, in reading several hundred books a year for several years that when you encounter a book in which there is lots and lots of hugging the author is using this small action as a weak demonstration that the MC is an open, good person, makes meaningful connections with people, etc. Similarly, it shows how comfortable those people are with him/her (usually her). Now, I'm a bit of a hugger in real life, coming from the touchy-feely hippy family that I did. But I don't hug my BFF, my ex-boyfriend, my friend's uncle, his cop partner and the nurse who cares for my mother in the nursing home. More importantly, all those people don't come up and hug me.
But it's not just about hugging. The hugging is almost always accompanied by a certain innocent narrative tone, in which small things (like a hug) are made big deals of. It's like a pearl-clad, mary jane wearing, pastel sporting teenager swooning over their first kiss while the married 40-year-old, with the kinky nightlife that's forced to listen to it thinks, 'God, it really just isn't that big a thing.' Any romance in these sorts of books are always heavily descriptive, possibly purple, and almost all tell as the narration beats the reader over the head with how awe-inspiring one person or the other is, how meaningful the small unimpressive events are, and how in looooooove they are.
The fact that this book falls within this pat(?) grouping is a guarantee that I'm not likely to enjoy it, as I almost never enjoy these books. But this book also annoyed me in other respects. I hated that as soon as Emily got together with Jake she let him start making all her decision. I didn't like their insta-love and, even worse, their insta-relationship, which was only compounded by their insistence on waiting to have sex until their relationship was more established. I don't know, 'I'm ready to let you rule my life' and 'I'm ready to die for you' seems pretty established to me.
I didn't like that the author gave Emily a rich, high-power, nice guy ex, who was still madly in love with her, just to show she was a desirable commodity. I didn't like that Emily had all this important information that she never shared with anyone. I didn't like that she pulled the cliché, TSTL, 'I'll go off and save the day by myself and require rescue' shtick a bagazillion other TSTL heroines have pulled. I didn't like that the villain was the same old, seen it a 100 times, man obsessed with a woman he wants to own for no discernible reason. I didn't like that people made un-followable intuitive leaps of logic that lead them to plot points. And I didn't like the deus ex machina-like way the characters were easily able to learn just what they needed at just the right time to save the day. Too easy!
The one thing that saved this book for me was Leo and his wife. I adored their relationship. The editing seemed pretty clean, I don't remember many misshaps and to the right reader this might be a hit.
Every once in a while, the graphic gory descriptions made me turn my head away only to rush back for more. It's not for nothing that Conduit won a Readers' Favorite Book Award. The twists and turns and surprises but no spoilers here. You have to pick it up. Well, I can't resist just one detail: Psychic. I won't say any more, but I love anything that delves into other senses, other ways of perceiving. I found another writer to follow closely. Definitely going to pick up her other books.
A clever mix of stark reality and Emily's 'gift', this story was entertaining and gruesome. It was well written and compelled me to want to read on even if there was a feeling of inevitability.
I thought the characters were realistic and believable set within a good plot and writing style.
Not wanting to give spoilers, it's not easy to say much, however, if you enjoy the cat and mouse scenario, this is for you.
This is an old-school crime thriller (in a good way) - we know within the first four chapters exactly what the end-game is to be, but we are compelled to watch how the characters navigate through the labyrinth of obstacles that are thrown in their way. This makes it an easy, quick, and ultimately very satisfying read and there is more than enough originality in the plotting to keep the reader gripped.
That the main character, Emily, is a psychic could put some readers off - but it shouldn’t. It is cleverly done and entirely plausible, because she does not use her ‘power’ to cut straight to the solution of the crimes, but is actually drawn deeper into danger by it (say any more and I’ll give too much away).
Other characters are well-drawn and believable. As a result this is a creepy and effective book and well worth a read whether you sit at the ‘noir’ end of crime fiction or the ‘Manhunter’ end. Good stuff!
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