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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Shock of Night: Patrick Carr

By Kelly Bridgewater


The Darkwater Claims All Who Enter It.

All But One. 

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded, Willet Dura, reeve to the king of Bunard, is called to investigate. As he 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 his task, but the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers, and his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, as though he can divine 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 dangerous conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world--a conflict  that will force him to come to terms with his inability to remember how he escaped the Darkwater Forest--and what happened to him inside it. 

From Amazon
My Thoughts:

I have read the first series by Patrick Carr, The Staff and the Sword, and I enjoyed it. It has everything I would want in a fantasy series. Intrigue. Action. A unique setting that is fully described with different characteristics. Carr’s newest series, The Darkwater Saga fulfills these similar requirements.

One of my favorite things about Carr’s writing is his ability to create a different world and make it jump off the page. Even though the world of Bunard is totally fictional, Carr uses descriptive images to bring the world to life, so I can suspend my belief and join Willet on the journey to solve the mystery. Carr captures the essence of a true fantasy novel like Tolkien and Lewis and invited me in to join the conflict on the page.

Speaking of the conflict, I was amazed at the unique tension in this story. Carr intermingles mystery with his world of fantasy, involving the gifts that every person has been created with by God. This takes a different path for the story. The conflict also centers on the social order of those who have the gifts and those who do not, which is comparable to the hierarchy in the world’s society today.

I did have an issue with how the story was written. There is A LOT of prose and not that much dialogue. As someone who enjoys reading a story that moves at a fast pace, The Shock of Night does not really move along at a nice clip. I trudged through the pages after pages after pages of description and back story, making it easy for me to put the book down and hurry into another book that I could lose myself in. I found it really hard to get into and wanted to put the book down a number of times. Actually, I did. I went to other books, but knew I had to finish this book in a timely fashion, so I picked it up again and skipped a lot of pages that were filled with prose.

I read the prequel novella, “The Divine Right”, and I recommend anyone to read that one before they jump into The Shock of Night. There is a lot of key information that needs to be understood before reading the actual series.

In true literary fashion, Patrick Carr’s The Shock of Night welcomed me into a world of disbelief that is filled with suspense, intrigue, and action. Get past all the prose and the story will capture your attention.

I received a complimentary copy of The Shock of Night from Bethany House and the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

What aspect of Patrick Carr’s writing sparks your interest in the fantasy genre?

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