Hey all, Dani here
I found quite a few books on NetGalley that sounded interesting, and of course I get approved for three different books that are released on the same day. Yesterday I shared my thoughts on Rachel Caine’s Paper and Fire, and today I have a near-future fantasy adventure. Again, receiving a galley of this book did not alter my rating or opinion in any way.
It’s 2020, and a magical cataclysm has shattered reality as we know it. Now a wizard’s cabal is running the East Coast of the US, keeping a semblance of peace.
Their most powerful agents, Edmund and Istvan — the former a nearly immortal 1940s-era mystery man, the latter, well, a ghost — have been assigned to hunt down an arms smuggling ring that could blow up Massachusetts.
Turns out the mission’s more complicated than it seemed. They discover a shadow war that’s been waged since the world ended, and, even worse, they find out that their own friendship has always been more complicated than they thought. To get out of this alive, they’ll need to get over their feelings, their memories, and the threat of a monstrous foe who’s getting ready to commit mass murder…
I wanted to like this book. It sounded interesting with a wizard’s cabal running part of the USA, and having a near immortal 1940s man and a ghost as main characters, I thought this would be super intriguing.
Instead I found this book to be like one of the groups of people within the book known as smilers. A number of times Istvan the ghost mentions that a woman–who we discover is a smiler–looks/feels empty to him.
Most everything in this felt very superficial, just surface level description, characterization, even the magic. I just wanted more while I was reading. I didn’t really connect with Edmund or Istvan really. So when Edmund discovers that the woman he loved didn’t really die, I should have been surprised or at least a little stunned. Instead I found myself thinking, ‘well, yeah, of course she didn’t die.’
The friendship between Edmund and Istvan is probably what kept me slugging through this book.
As happens with some books, it gets a bit more interesting as it heads towards the climax and resolution, but even the last third or half of the book couldn’t raise my rating any higher.
Man, I don’t want this review to be a downer. I guess I will say that I did think it was really cool that Edmund was basically a time thief, stealing moments, minutes, hours, from others and then using them to increase his life. That was an interesting concept, and I would have liked to know a bit more about that.
Overall, I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars. I thought about giving it a 2.5 star rating, but when I considered a recent book I gave a 2 star rating, I thought this one was considerably better so 3 stars it is. But don’t let my review scare you away from this book. Just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean that you won’t like it. I can just say that The Interminables wasn’t the book for me.