Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
Awakening - S.J. Bolton I'm always up for a decent thriller as long as the gore isn't too over-the-top, and chose S.J. Bolton's Awakening to mix in with the recent run on graphic novels and chick lit I seem to have been reading.::: The Plot :::Clara is a veterinarian who specializes in the odd sorts of animals you might come across in the country or a small village, from badgers to swans. We learn fairly early on that she is a loner, sticking to herself because of a disfiguring scar she's had on her face most of her life.When she's called in on more incidents involving snakes than are likely for the area she lives in, a mystery begins to unfold involving poisonous snakes from exotic locales, a mysterious church fire that occurred over 50 years ago, a strange (and possibly incestuous) family, and elderly neighbors being murdered right and left.::: I'm Gonna Wash That Snake Right Outta My Hair :::I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a good analogy for how the mystery plays out in Awakening, and the best one involved the reader following a trail of breadcrumbs only to have to try to stuff them all into a not-very-large turkey at the end. That isn't to say that the story is a turkey, but it was the best way to describe how the clues are left for the reader.It's obvious within the first 50 pages what at least one of the underlying causes is for the entire plot, and who the potential victims will be, based on a clue that practically has a marquee flashing around it. Many of the clues are dropped in this obvious manner, and while how they tie together may not become completely clear until the end (when all of these clues and plot threads have to be wrapped up), it's obvious that You Are Expected To Pay Attention Here.Along with the overly-obvious clues, there is a cast of characters that's often too large to be managed. As a reader, I often found myself flipping back to the front of the book to see if there was some sort of chart like you'll often find in romance novels. With a gang of five young hoodlums, an inter-married family of... arg, I lost count again... too many, several police officers, various clergy, neighbors, co-workers, reptile experts, plus Clara's family... Well, you can see how this might all get sort of confusing.Still, Awakening is an interesting read, chock full of information about snakes, suspense that will still have you turning pages, and a sympathetic heroine in Clara. This review was originally published at Epinions:

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