Monday, December 7, 2015

The Shock of Night- Patrick Carr- CSFF Tour

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description:When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded on the streets of Bunard, Willet Dura is called to investigate. Yet the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers. As Willet begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to the city, no closer to answers than before, but his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, a twist seen at the edge of his vision, and it's as though he can see their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he's been passed the rarest gift of all: a gift that's not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he's pulled into a much more dangerous and epic conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world--a conflict that will force him to come to terms with his own tortured past if he wants to survive.

My Thoughts: At first, I didn't like Willet. I thought he was a bit arrogant and judgmental. Then, after a couple chapters, I started to feel an odd kinship with him. He has lost a lot in his life and lives under the weight of a terrible secret, as well as seems to be able to count the number of people he trusts and deeply cares about on one hand. His is a difficult existence that has been hard won. So while I still can't say that he is the nicest guy, I ended up caring about him.

The story is fairly fast paced, taking place over about a week. It is full of danger and extremely high stakes, making for a gripping read. Unlike Patrick's last series, The Shock of Night is pretty dark and ultimately depressing, with only a hint of light after the dawn. I'm still a little brokenhearted after the ending, and am sitting here wondering what I'm going to do while I wait to find out what happens in the next book.

There were moments when I was confused. Those usually involved conversations between Willet and Bolt that read basically like this:

Bolt- You know what this means?
Willet- Of course.
*Me clutching book*- Tell me!

 If not for those instances, I probably would have given the book a full five stars instead of just four. I loved the story and the relationships between the characters, I just don't like being the last to know what's going on. I can't wait to read the second book.

I received this book through Bookfun Network in exchange for an honest review.

And come back on Dec. 22nd to enter into a giveaway by the author for The Shock of Night.

Tour Participants: While I did not receive my review copy through CSFF, I am still posting along with the tour. You can read other reviews for this book at the following links.



  1. I felt the SAME way regarding the conversations or Willet's observations at times. I need a little bit more information! I don't know if that has to do with my preference for YA or not. I don't like to work too hard to understand something. With a 7 & 5 year old and life, I'm quite distracted. Ha!

    If I'm not careful, I'll be sharing my thoughts here instead of my blog. Ha! But I will say I liked Willet at first, because of By Divine Right. But I started to dislike him especially when he received the Doemere (?) and he realized what he had and what he intended to do with it.

    And I've still got 50 pages to read. But I'm saving it for the right time. Don't want to be bawling me eyes out in the car line when I'm picking my kid up from school. Blah! I'm not sure I'm ready for the ending after reading your review. Ha! :-)

    1. I definitely would advise finishing it on a day you can just sit there and stare at the wall (or scream) for a little bit. And I read both adult and YA, and I never like having to work to understand what the characters already know.

  2. I totally agree with the conversations being annoying. Oye! Just say something! It feels like a cheap way of building suspense. I've read adult novels that don't do that (or at least don't overuse the element as much).

  3. Yep, I agree with the "why is the reader not privy to what the characters know" thing. There was plenty in this book to make the reader work, so I don't think it has to do with YA verses adult writing. I think it's something that slid past the editor. That can happen if they know the story and forget we don't.

    It's interesting that a number of participants have called the book dark. I don't think I used that term in my post Monday, but that's what I described. I'd call it bleak! Ha! So much better than dark, don't you think? Maybe not. But yes, this is a series I want to keep following. There is so much going on!


    1. Oh, I definitely want to find out what happens next!

  4. There was a discussion over on Yellow House News regarding style for high fantasy versus mystery. I think the "hiding clues from the reader" thing is definitely part of that divergence. I read a lot of detective/noir stories, so I'm used to the habit of authors keeping the detective one step ahead of the reader.

    On the whole, I thought Carr actually did better than a lot of writers do on this front: I was usually able to catch up fairly quickly and the explanations made logical sense give what had previously been revealed. There were even a few reveals I anticipated, but just barely: the mark of a good mystery. I actually found it a good sign that everything was explained all at once, but I guess that's a matter of personal taste.

    1. I hardly think that the writing was bad, only that I personally don't like to be left in the dark. It was a stylistic choice I just didn't care for.