Monday, March 2, 2015

Never Look a Gift Book in the Mouth

A few times a month, on my friend Amanda's urging, I enter the Goodreads Giveaways in hopes of winning a copy of some new or soon-to-be-released book. Dear reader, if you're on Goodreads and you've never poked around the Giveaways section, you should definitely try it out! Who knows what fun new novel (or book of poetry, or cookbook, or self-help manual) will end up in your mailbox. Very often, you will be one of the first readers and reviewers of that book. It gives you book-hipsters something to brag about, and more importantly, your early reviews let other readers to know what to expect.

Yesterday I started reading my ARC of Brendan Duffy's House of Echoes, slated to be released in April of this year. The book has been delightful so far, with top-notch prose, a cast of genuine characters both fresh and familiar, and a certain sensory clarity that is rarely found in a first novel. I'm enjoying it greatly. 

But I have the growing sense that I have made a terrible mistake.

Now, remember what I've said before about how I take books on faith when they are recommended to me. I tend not to read synopses or back cover blurbs until after the book is finished. I like letting the book speak for itself, without having my own expectations color it. (This is no doubt hypocritical of me, given that I begin every review with a summary of the book in question.)

I read a brief synopsis of House of Echoes back when I entered the giveaway, a month or two ago. By the time it arrived in my grubby little hands, I no longer remembered it. (I'd entered a lot of giveaways that month.) I plunged into the book in open-minded innocence.

Too late, the suspicion has dawned on me: I believe this is going to be a horror story. It's certainly sidling that direction, one faint minor key at a time.

This is all to say that I may never sleep again, dear readers. If I survive, I'll know to double-check the backs of books before letting them suck me in. But if I have to die of fright in the next few days, at least it's at the hands of a book so skillfully composed. House of Echoes will get a postmortem five stars from me.

(Full review to follow... hopefully!) 

No comments:

Post a Comment