A Novel of Darkness and Light
by Ginger Garrett
*** About the Book ***
In this historical-fiction-with-a-touch-of-the-supernatural novel, angels and demons are battling for the soul of a young woman. To save her, the angels take her back in time to learn some important lessons. Unfortunately, the time they take her back to is the Middle Ages - and the Black Death is breaking out.
As a side note, I really love the cover of this book - not sure why, but something about it intrigues me.
*** Why I Read It ***
I was intrigued by the publicist's email and agreed to accept a review copy based on the synopsis. I was hoping it would be something like a mix between YEAR OF WONDERS by Geraldine Brooks and THIS PRESENT DARKNESS by Frank Peretti.
Although it is book 2 in The Chronicles of the Scribe trilogy, I understood that it could be read as a stand-alone novel.
*** My Thoughts ***
I really hate to say it but this book was a disappointment.
The characters were under-developed and very stereotypical. Garrett seemed more interested in conveying the moral of the story as quickly as possible than in allowing the characters to make meaningful - and understandable - choices.
In addition to under-developed characters the plot seemed to jump ahead in spurts, almost without explanation. Time and again characters were put into situations and I asked myself "how did he/she get there?"
In the author's note at the end, Garrett explained that she wanted to examine the way the role of women in relation to the Catholic Church changed during the Black Plague. For being her main theme, this seemed to be a relatively minor plot point and one that was rather blatantly stated in the story itself.
The author had a great idea for a story but she seemed to only give the reader parts of it and she didn't allow her characters to become real. This book had lots of potential but unfortunately it failed to pan out.
*** Second Thoughts ***
I just read Amy's review of the first book in the series, IN THE SHADOW OF LIONS. Having read that, the beginning of this book makes a lot more sense to me. I would definitely not recommend this as a stand-alone novel; this is a situation where you should read the books in the order they were written.
*** Your Thoughts ***
Have you reviewed this book or others in the series? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? I'd love to hear your thoughts.