Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: The Shattering by Karen Healey

Shortly after Keri's older brother commits suicide, her former childhood friend, Janna, enlists her help with uncovering the reason why so many young men commit suicide at a certain time of year. She, along with her friend Sione, is convinced that what is happening is actually murder. They think it's a carefully concealed conspiracy and have to be very cautious in their investigations, but since they have all lost someone they loved to this murderer they have the motivation to discover what happened.

The deeper they get into their questions, however, the more quickly they learn that things are much more complicated and dangerous than they originally suspected. Powerful forces are at work and even people they trust may be in on this ritual murder.

When I first started reading this book, I had been suffering from severe reader burn-out. I was really happy with the beginning of the book, because I felt like the mystery was pretty tragic, the writing was sharp and precise, and the characterization was outstanding. The story is told through the alternating POV's of the three main characters and they are really well drawn, I felt like I knew them all. But as the story progressed the mystery did not at a pace quickly enough for me and I started to feel bored. And then something was revealed about one of the characters that made everything in the book feel like a metaphor for something else. Which isn't exactly bad, in fact, from an intellectual standpoint I could appreciate the way the author handled this, I just had absolutely no emotional connection to it by that point.

The book is described as a thriller but there wasn't enough tension for me. The prose is great, the characterization is great, but overall the story itself didn't engage me enough. I did finish it, though, at a time when I thought I would never finish another book, and while the ending leaves some frayed painful ends, it is ultimately hopeful.

Fun stuff: the book is set in New Zealand which is different and made me want to go there!

Rating: 3.75/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Language, I think, I finished this one awhile ago, sorry!
Source of Book: Review copy received from publisher
Publisher: Little, Brown


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