Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blogging for Books- The Secrets of Life and Death

From Goodreads: 
In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret--She's Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won't rest until they've taken the magic that keeps her alive.... 
In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess' malady, is the magic that might be able to save her...
As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee's assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying. 

I thought the concept was rather ingenious. The concept that someone could be kept alive through magical means, but nearly always be at the point of death in their "new" life. The concept that their blood could heal others is an interesting slant.All that being said, I found it slow going. I wished the story would have had a faster pace. I think it got bogged down in excessive history. I am a fan of historical fiction with a twist, but it just felt like I was trudging through the story. At once point, I hoped it would end.While it took a long time to get to the end, it also felt like there wasn't enough explanation on either of the endings. The "ending" with Kelley and Dee felt deliberately mysterious, which would have been fine if it had been more explained in the Jack and Sadie ending, which also felt deliberately mysterious. I don't like that in endings. I want to time to fully know what all went down. I want explanations on some of the weird, obtuse moments. I realize that it's my personal preference.The bottom line is, this book was okay. If you are interested in John Dee or the Bathory legends, this would be a great novel for you. If you like reading about the Inquisition, you will be very surprised at its role in the novel. In general, I may recommend this book to the right friend. Overall, I think a good story, with promising originality, got bogged down by all the moving parts of history that the author felt she must include.

I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books.

Template by