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Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick (DNF Review)


Series:
Standalone
Genre:
Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Publication.Date:January 6, 2015
Pages:357 (ARC paperback)
Published By:  Roaring Book Press
Website:Marcus Sedgwick 

The Ghosts of Heaven on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Where to get:



A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet's obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book's final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick's gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.

(Goodreads)



Inspired by Nikki @ There Were Books Involved, instead of reviewing a book I have chosen to DNF, I will do something more along the lines of a DNF Discussion. Nikki's feature, DNF Q&A, "answers to a few pertinent questions in order to explain what made me ultimately set the book aside." I love how Nikki approached this rare occurrence with a Q&A rather than a full out review and, with her blessing, adopted it as my go-to method for DNFs.

So, you added The Ghosts of Heaven to your DNF pile. How much of it did you read - did you really give it a chance?
I did! I read the first three stories, which took me to page 265!

What made you pick up it in the first place? Were you looking forward to it or did it just pop up by chance?
I love the theme of interlocking stories. Stories/people that have nothing in common, in this case they live hundreds or thousands of years apart, but these spirals all connect them in some way. I found the synopsis to be extremely intriguing and knew immediately I wanted to read it.

Did you have certain expectations for the book before starting it? Have you read anything else by this author or in this genre?
I haven't read anything by Marcus before and I wasn't expecting anything one way or another. I did read a review or two a few weeks before starting this one and both reviewers raved about it. Every point they made caused me to be more excited to start this book - it'd be a lie to say that I'm not disappointed that I did not like it.

Was there anything you liked about the book? What ultimately made you stop reading at page 265? 
I absolutely loved - loved! - the first two quarters: "Whispers in the Dark" and "The Witch in the Water." "Whispers in the Dark" is a beautiful story and I couldn't get over how much I did like it. Set in prehistoric times and told in verse, this quarter's narrative really put me in this young girl's head. The third person narrative really allowed me to feel like I was in the "cave girl's" head as she struggled to survive. "The Witch in the Water," told during the witch hysteria in 1500s England is my favorite of the bunch. It's a horrifying story of townspeople turning on one of their own through the prodding of a priest and how his suggestions bring about destruction of a peaceful village.

It was during "The Easiest Room in Hell" that I was losing interest. I don't know if the story itself just didn't appeal to me or what, but I struggled to finish it. By the time I did and was going to start "The Song of Destiny," I just didn't have the oomph to do so.

Would you still recommend it to anyone?
My answer to this is always yes - especially since I enjoyed the first two quarters so much. This book comes highly recommend by fellow bloggers/reviewers whom I know and trust. My word is not the end all be all when it comes to a good book or a bad book. That's for you to judge.

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