I was really looking forward to seeing Constance and Aloysius's relationship play out but alas that storyline was only alotted about one page so that was kind of a let down. Now I have to "patiently" wait for the next book....
I am just done with this nonsensical series.
It has just gone down the tubes for me since #11 (The Skin Collector).
That is three books in a row where not much is happening and too many coincidences drive the plot. Deaver doesn't even bother with trying to artfully explain the science in these books anymore. We just get regurgitation of facts and Rhyme acting like an asshole to everyone.
It doesn't help Rhyme and Sachs read like robots in this book. There is no there for me anymore between these two. Deaver wrote himself into a hole with getting rid of Sachs having issues with her arthritis.
Matters not helped by Deaver trying to turn these two into a super forensic spy team at the end. I don't even want to go there in future books. Let's pretend that the things they will end up doing will totally be legal and be allowed to be used as evidence.
The writing was not good and the flow was awful. I think that a good 1/3 of this book could have been deleted and you would not have missed anything vitally important. Why oh why Deaver did not just end on Rhyme and Sachs getting married baffles me. We go from what could have been a sweet/strong ending to the two of them solving another crime. I could not believe it. It just went on and on and I didn't care. I can see why so many readers started to skim this. It's your only defense to not fall totally asleep.
The setting of this book is moved from New York (after the first couple of pages) to Italy. The only thing you have to know about Italy is that Rhyme likes the grappa. Also he is still an asshole to everyone. We get a plethora of new characters that I stopped keeping track of after a while. Why we spent so much time in these people's heads is beyond me. I started calling one of the Italians the new rookie cause that's who he was the stand in for IMHO.
The ending as I already said just died on the vine. We go from a happy event to another crime with Rhyme and Sachs thinking a murder is about to occur. Cue new characters and a murderous lesbian and I just was done.
February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body.
From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a thrilling, supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory, where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.
The format of this book will mean that its not going to appeal to everyone. It is told in multiple voices—book excerpts, newspaper quotes, and numerous ghostly voices. It can feel a bit chaotic and I often found myself searching to determine who was speaking.
Despite that, if you can live with the writing style, this is a tale of grief and love. Not only between Lincoln and his son Willie, but the love of all the poor souls who inhabit the bardo in hopes of being “just sick” instead of dead. Saunders’ vision of what this half-life would be like is original and interesting.
I found it curious that Abraham Lincoln, a respected president today, could be so reviled during his tenure. The brutality of the Civil War, of course, was the reason for the mixed opinions, leading me to muse a bit about how the leaders of the last number of decades will be remembered.
This novel touches on all the big themes—love, death, politics, religion—sympathetically but with humour too.
Read to fill the PopSugar reading challenge—a novel based on a real person.