Monday, December 5, 2011

Review of The Noon God.

As you may know, I read a lot. I've been trying to do reviews on Amazon of some of the stuff I read, but every once in a while I might feel I'm better served bringing the review here. I'll try not to do this too often, unless people just really like to read book reviews. 


I recently read The Noon God, a short book by Donna Carrick, on MDRK. (In case you were wondering, MDRK has been very good to me, and is as much my constant companion as his predecessor was. *swoons*)

Here's the book description given on the Amazon page:

Living in the shadow of greatness can be a difficult thing. Just ask Desdemona. When her father, the magnificent J. Caesar Fortune, is found murdered inside the offices of the Faculty of Art, there is no shortage of people who carried a grudge against him.

I absolutely loved The Noon God. It's a mystery, of course, but the mystery almost takes a back seat to the Fortune family saga. Mona is coping with the significant loss of her father by focusing not only on what must be done but also on how things got to that point. This story subtly "explains" the characters and their actions by delving into their dysfunctional past. A lot of story seeds are planted in the beginning, and they slowly and gently begin to grow throughout the book. Some books are more explicit and "in your face" with the information being revealed, but this is more like a glimpse into this time in Mona's life. There is no painstakingly-detailed backtracking to cover details that aren't relevant in Mona's mind at that moment. If she is already aware of something, she doesn't necessarily feel the need to take the extra steps to point it out to you if it doesn't serve a purpose.** (See ** for **Spoiler Alert**)

We do get glimpses into her past and the kind of environment she was raised in, but only in parts where Mona would naturally be considering it herself. Am I making sense with this? I really liked this aspect of the book--it trusts the ability of the reader to make the connections themselves. Some reviewers (well, the one negative reviewer...) felt like the characters weren't developed enough, but I heartily disagree. Everything you need to know is revealed bit by bit, and it builds to an awesome conclusion. There are still questions, of course; primarily, What's next for Mona?       

I will gladly read more by this author, and have added one of her stories (free!) to MDRK. I hope it is as interestingly written as The Noon God.

**The main example of this would be Mona's pregnancy. Now, I don't consider this a spoiler--even though she doesn't explicitly mention the baby until the end--because the "clues" are there the whole way through, but some might. At first Carrick lets you believe it's a reaction to the trauma Mona's experienced, but you should quickly see that it's more than that. There was actually a point where I wondered if she was going to approach the subject explicitly at all, because it was finally made clear that she knew about it but it still hadn't been explicitly stated or even alluded to in conversations. But if anyone who reads this story hasn't figured that out way before the last couple of chapters, and gripes about a lack of character development, then I don't know what to tell you. Maybe stick to "Everyone Poops." It's got that "spell-it-out-for-you" clarity you are looking for.

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