Day Three of the tour, Day Two for me. Where was I? Oh, yes, about to write a review of John Olson's newest novel, Shade.
Okay, so, much was made of Shade's scariness. Reading just the endorsements inside the front cover is entertaining. My husband snagged the book first (as he often does; his reading time is more plentiful than mine--so unfair!), and kept looking at me through the first half of the book. "When's it going to get scary?" After he finished it, he liked it well enough but his verdict: "Wasn't scary." Then Son One and Son Two read it, both before me. (More unfairness.) Although it was a "can't put it down" read for both of them, their assessment was also, "Not really scary." (Both agreed that the hospital scene early on was creepy. I concur!)
Finally it was my turn. Sigh. I hate starting into a book with high expectations and with the family's opinions floating around my head, but I was determined to just read and enjoy it.
Then, something strange happened. A friend who's been struggling hugely with her circumstances and her faith had, on my recommendation, picked up a copy at the library, and had started reading it, as well. About the time I got a couple of chapters in, she called me on the phone with the bizarre question, "Can you do what these people are doing??" Meaning, of course, the characters--the sensing each other's emotions, etc. This provided a really ... um, neat? interesting? opportunity to talk about whether or not supernatural gifts are real for the here and now (I'm NOT going into that in THIS blog post, I assure you!) and to talk further about her faith struggles.
After that phone conversation, I stayed up way too late reading (I also suffer from "can'tputitdown-itis") and ... well ... honestly I didn't find it all that scary either. (Too much Brandilyn Collins and Dean Koontz, maybe?) But I wanted to keep reading, and I wanted MORE. Lots more. I felt a bit cheated at the end because some pretty serious loose ends, in my opinion, weren't tied up--but then I found out that John is writing a sequel. (YAY!!!!) I also found a particular plot twist near the end a bit implausible because, as one reviewer put it, by this time we know the character so well that we can't really believe ill of him. But that was a minor quibble. I enjoyed the writing, loved the characters (although I'd liked to have more development on Hailey), really loved the storyworld and found the premise absolutely fascinating.
I think I've commented before that I have to be careful when reviewing books by authors I know and like as people, because I tend to lose my objectivity. Take my opinion accordingly, but I believe this is a very worthwhile read!
I could say more, but time and space fail me. :-) Scroll down to yesterday's post for the list of others who have read and commented on this book.