I loved An Easy Death, as Charlaine Harris has been a solid favourite of mine for years – see reviews of Grave Sight, Dead Reackoning, Shakespeare’s Landlord, Midnight Crossroad, Day Shift and Night Shift, so I was extremely excited to hear that A Longer Fall was due and Himself insisted that we pre-order it. I do love that man!
BLURB: Lizbeth Rose is hired onto a new crew for a seemingly easy protection job, transporting a crate into Dixie, just about the last part of the former United States of America she wants to visit. But what seemed like a straight-forward job turns into a massacre as the crate is stolen…
The blurb goes on for a bit longer, but you get the gist. I love Rose and the way we are right inside the character from the first page – Harris has a knack of drawing me right into the middle of her worlds in no time flat and this time around was no exception. This dystopian, alternate history where the Russian monarchy managed to flee before they were all massacred and are now living in a corner of a very different America, works really well. The magical element is also deftly introduced and I enjoy the tension and dislike that surrounds these magic-users, which makes complete sense.
I was hooked and read late into the night and early morning to discover what happened next. Rose teams up with a former colleague while plot twists come thick and fast as they fend off a variety of threats. In the meantime, there is also an interesting romantic thread running alongside the adventure which somewhat complicates things for Rose. One of the delights of this one, is that I simply didn’t know what was going to happen next.
However, I wasn’t completely won over by the MacGuffin that very abruptly stopped all the mayhem and violence. I recently had a rant about female protagonists in fantasy books who suddenly are riding into battle alongside the men, without there having been any real attempt to explain what dynamic has changed to make this possible. I felt in a similar fashion here, that a whole bunch of deep-seated, difficult issues in the small town of Sally were given a flimsy makeover in order to bring the story to a rather unsatisfying conclusion that didn’t convince me. It didn’t mean the book went flying across the room, and I still very much enjoyed Rose’s personal journey, which was brilliantly explored throughout the book – but I have knocked a point off for the way the main plot gets wrapped up. That doesn’t prevent this being an action-packed, western-flavoured fantasy adventure well worth picking up – and we’ll certainly be pre-ordering the next instalment.
I completely agree with you. I just finished this last night and I literally laughed at the end when that “thing” happened! I didn’t enjoy this as much as you, unfortunately. I thought the first book was way stronger overall. But I do love Lizbeth and the humor is probably my favorite part😁
Oh yes, I’d agree the first book was better, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Rose continue to grow and develop. And I do love that world… apart from the wretched ‘thing’ that is!
I don’t think I’ve ever read a Charlaine Harris book that I didn’t have complicated feelings about. It’s always “I loved it but…” or “I hate it but…” there’s always something. The battle issues do annoy me but this does sound like one I’m curious about.
I’ll grant you that she doesn’t always get the narrative right – but I find her protagonists always worm their way inside my defences in no time flat. And that’s unusual enough for me to tolerate quite a lot of other issues, particularly around the plotting, that I wouldn’t if it was anything else.
I’m very excited to read this. I’ve heard so many things about the ending as well, and now I wonder how I will react to it!
I’m looking forward to reading what you make of it, too… It might just be me! I do seem to be in a rather picky mood at the moment.
I’m so curious about that ending – will have to read this soon, the intrigue will drive me nuts.
Oh yes – I’d love you to read it – I want to know what you think about it, too:))
NOOOO! You’ve got me all worked up. I really loved Easy Death, but if Charlaine’s gone and done something wonky–booo! Okay, okay, I’ll still read it, but now I’m all skeptical…
Oh dear… I hope I haven’t overly influenced you. But I was a bit gobsmacked and slightly fed up. Though I hasten to add, I will still be continuing with this series – that first book was such an awesome read and there are still great elements to this one, too.
lol no, it’s okay. It just surprises me Harris would go that route. I’ll still give it a go! 🙂
I’m glad about that… Harris does have form – there were one or two dodgey finishes in the Sookie Stackhouse stories, but I’ll forgive her a huge amount, given how much I enjoy her writing.