Wednesday, July 04, 2007

City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin

Completion Date: June 2007
Pages: 432
Publication Year: 2007
Purchased in 2007

Reason for Reading: I really liked Mistress of the Art of Death by the same author, so I had hopes that this one would be good as well.
A cultured city scarred by war. . . . An eastern émigré with scars and secrets of her own. . . . A young woman claiming to be a Russian grand duchess. . . . A brazen killer, as vicious as he is clever. . . . A detective driven by decency and the desire for justice.
. . . A nightmare political movement steadily gaining power. . . .
This is 1922 Berlin.
One of the troubled city's growing number of refugees, Esther Solomonova survives by working as secretary to the charming, unscrupulous cabaret owner "Prince" Nick, and she's being drawn against her will into his scheme to pass a young asylum patient off as Anastasia, the last surviving heir to the murdered czar of all Russia. But their found "princess," Anna Anderson, fears that she's being hunted—and this may turn out to be more than paranoia when innocent people all around her begin to die.
It is rather sad when you read a book by an author and really enjoy it, but when you go to read another book by the same author, you find that you did not like it at all. This was the case with City of Shadows. I really liked Mistress of the Art of Death when I read it earlier in the month, but when I went to read this one, I found myself getting bored. The writing did not draw me in and I had to force my way to the end.

First up, the back of the book, all of that happens in the first half of the book. It makes it looked like some drawn out affair, but all that happened and then there was still half of the book left to wait and see how everything would turn out. My first major problem with the book, it could have been way shorter! I just found she drew stuff out way too much, and I got bored because I wanted the book to end all ready!

My second problem with the book was how predictable it was! The people that died, had that figured out; the ending, predictable; boy meets girl, predictable; etc. I did not like the cop. He became one of the main characters, and let me put this down for everyone. He might as well have solved the entire case in ten pages because the guy had everything figured out about Esther and her friends before that many pages have turned. There was no challenge. He was pompous and annoying, like give the dog a bone, he did more in a few pages than the book had in 100.

That being said, the book has a very good idea behind it, but I just did not like the way that it was played out. I think even now, almost 100 years later, people would still love for one of the Romanov's to have survived that fateful shooting and have gone on to lead a very normal life. Franklin looks at one such pretender to the Romanov throne. Many people truly believed she was Anastasia in real life, until DNA tests proved otherwise, so for Franklin to write a book about it, it really interested me. It is too bad it was carried out so badly.

Parting Thoughts: I suggest that people watch the cartoon movie Anastasia. I do not believe it is Disney, but it has a much more interesting character vying for the throne. It is much better than this book, in any case, which will be making its way to the second-hand store very soon.

I POSTED A REVIEW OF SMOKE AND MIRRORS by Neil Gaiman on TWISTED KINGDOM today. You can read it by clicking here

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

I am so sorry, but I turned anonymous commenting off. I have had it from the very beginning, but that is how the spam is getting by my spam filter at the moment. If it is a big deal I will turn it back on and moderate all comments. I also changed moderation from older than 14 days to older than 7.