Smiling always seems to annoy people more then insulting them. Or maybe I have an annoying smile.
I entered this book with a bit of apprehension. I heard many people gush over these books, saying they’re the best Detective Fantasy books around. Being a noir writer, I hate the illusion that people give stating that this is a noir book. It is definitely not. Hard-boiled maybe, but more of the typical Urban Fantasy 1st person smartass. Still, I went along for the ride, enjoying its pace and simple detective plot.
In the opening, the prose was horrible. The opening paragraph was horrible. Simple and to the point, but as you might guess, I don’t like that.
I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual. He didn’t sound right. His footsteps feel more heavily, jauntily, and he whistled. A new guy. He whistled his way to my office door, then fell silent for a moment. Then he laughed.
Then he knocked.
See, just too simple and repetitive for my tastes. But that’s not to say the book’s prose didn’t get better. No, one of my favorite parts was near the end when Harry was describing the estate through his ThirdEye. Brilliant wording there. I’m just hoping the style would increase later on in the series.
The pacing was great, especially toward the end. I literally couldn’t put it down, which is a surprising thing for me, considering it was during class when work is prevalent.
Not to spoil it or anything, but the ending was fabulous. It employed my favorite type of ending (and only ending that I see suitable for a good novel), a Chekhov’s Gun. Basically, a detail from earlier in the book helps wrap up the story. It wasn’t from the very beginning. Actually, it was only from the middle. But spoilers. Nonetheless, the Gun was used flawlessly. And there was more instances of this throughout.
People cite Harry Dresden as a moping whiner. I didn’t catch that, maybe because I’m used to writing in the voice of a sad, bitter protagonist. Not to boast, but my WIP has more melancholy in the first chapter than this book has in its entirety. Some people don’t like that, though. I wasn’t one of them.