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|Print List Price:||£6.99|
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Wormwood Kindle Edition
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I have recommended this to my teenage kids just so they explore the genre.
While I liked the general idea of the plot, I felt that Taylor did not use it to its full effect. The slow descent of the comet, gradually causing London to fall to chaos, could have made for a dramatic and suspenseful story. However, Taylor seemed to largely forget about this until the climax and instead pursued numerous sub-plots which went nowhere - often petering out without resolution and never doing anything to explain the gaping holes in the main plot. The ending is also very abrupt, the entire climax taking less that twenty pages and leaving many loose ends hanging.
Although less out-and-out preachy than 'Shadowmancer', the novel also had a heavy message that both science and the Kabbalah are evil, and that the ongoing search that mankind has for knowledge/power is gradually damning us all. While this did not irritate me nearly as much as Raphah's pagan bashing in the previous novel, it also did not make me warm to the novel. I don't really enjoy books that try to make me feel bad about reading them.
Finally, the characters in this book are exceptionally dislikable. None of the cast - angels included - were altruistic in any way, instead going out of their way to either hurt others or further their own selfish ends. I could not get behind any of these characters at all and found myself not caring if they lived or died.
In short, this was not the book for me at all. I can see little appeal in it and certainly won't be recommending it to anyone.
The ideas in this book are huge; quite literally astronomical, in fact. The characters are incredibly well crafted, all with full and unique personalities. Given the sheer number of major characters, this is quite the feat in itself. The plot snakes well, constantly twisting and turning – even just the basic storyline is massively complex. Add on to these things the background context, historical and geographical setting, lore and all the other meatier details and you have yourself a book bursting at the seams. While it’s a clearly incredibly well thought out world and story, this was the downfall for me.
The narrative flicks between characters often. You’re never entirely sure who you’re following and that often means you’re never entirely sure what’s going on. I feel like there are too many twists and too many characters for a book this size to work. The plot bumps into itself all the time, the characters are all trying to take centre stage and the reader is often left scratching their head. Personally, I don’t like novels that are too busy and that’s just what this is. It didn’t leave me enough time to connect with the characters properly. I’ll also say that one thing that annoyed me was the suggestion of human characters being there for the Great Fire of London 90 years before the book is set.
Saying that, there were bits I enjoyed. Longer sections centring on the same character/s were very enjoyable, and I liked the tone – it felt a lot like The Da Vinci Code, only in 1756. The book is like Marmite. Goodreads reviewers either sing its praises or loathe it entirely. Unlike Marmite, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either; there were moments I thoroughly enjoyed, but overall it didn’t really do it for me.
Somehow the settings appear in the mind like those of a '3D' backdrop - not unlike those experienced when playing a video game, or reading story book adventure - unreal and sublime. The streets and buildings are atmospheric, and they capture both the reader's interest and imagination instantly. Full of atmosphere with good and detailed descriptive prose - tremendously flowing with intricate detail, that is yet so easy to follow and understand.
One of the most exciting parts for me being when Agetta is climbing the stairs to the attic to meet whom she finds to be a fallen angel called 'Tegatus'. It's almost as if one is climbing the stairs right beside her!
I was constantly transported when reading this novel, and each time I broke off and came back, I would be disappointed at finding myself back in my own home! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will take a long time to forget it!
Definitely a MASTERPIECE!!
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