The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North

The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North

I am a huge Claire North fan. Regardless of topic, her writing is lyrical and vivid and, at times, graphic. The Pursuit of William Abbey begins in the 1880s and continues into the first World War, while taking us around the world. North brings the era, the people, and the places alive for us, through her characters and descriptions. William Abbey is cursed. He watched a boy be tortured and burned without doing or saying anything- this scene is devastating. As the mother kills her child to end his suffering, she sends out her curse and it lands on Abbey. As the blurb says, the shadow of the dead boy starts following him and when it catches him, the person he loves most will die. The person he loves most, not the person he should love, not the person he pretends to love, the person he truly loves most. Using modern transportation, he can stay ahead of the relentless, shuffling...
Read More
DNF – 84K by Claire North

DNF – 84K by Claire North

I had to give up on 84K by Claire North which makes me so sad. I've loved everything I've read/listened to by her, but I just couldn't finish this one. I was listening to the audiobook which is 13 1/2 hours long and gave up with about 1 1/2 hours left. Peter Kenny was the narrator and I've enjoyed books he's done before. I just couldn't struggle to finish it anymore. I didn't care enough about the main character's mission to finish. Here's the info: I don't know if was too long- Theo spends a lot of time traveling, on the run but also with revenge in mind. Or was it too dark - it's a really depressing world where no one has it easy. The concept was great and the writing is typical North, which I like, unfinished sentences and all. It just didn't work for me here. Cut maybe 100 pages out, tighten it up a bit, and I may have loved it. I...
Read More

The End of the Day by Claire North

Charlie is the Harbinger of Death. It's his job. He's a mortal, has no super powers except a support staff at an office somewhere who are great at making reservations, getting him across borders and out of jail, and paying ransoms. He meets good people and terrible people, and sometimes he's sent for ideas or ways of life and not individuals. He celebrates Life and we travel with him. That's what we do, we see what he sees, hear what he hears, including random snippets of conversation, go where he goes. We're with him when he meets people, gives them gifts, tells them he is the Harbinger and sometimes he comes as a warning and sometimes as a courtesy. We're with him as he listens to people's life stories and when he is beaten and held prisoner. After all, not everyone is happy when the Harbinger of Death shows up; some are though. Yes, sometimes we see slices of the lives of the...
Read More

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

I discovered Claire North earlier this year with her Gameshouse trilogy and loved her style, so I had to pick up The Sudden Appearance of Hope. I was not disappointed. I like how North writes, her ways of describing things, of conveying her characters' thoughts. She takes an idea, bases her story around it, and makes them amazing. Hope can't be remembered - that's the idea in this one, the bit that the rest of the story revolves around. You could meet her, have dinner with her, and once she's left your sight, your hearing for a minute or two, you forget and your mind fills in that blank with whatever's most reasonable - you dined alone. Hope is many things - chief among them a thief. An interesting point - since she can't have relationships, she isn't a lover, a friend, an employee, she is free (cursed?) to define herself. Her ethnic backyard, dark skin and hair, have helped form her...
Read More

The Master by Claire North

Ah - the last of the trilogy. I'm sad to see it end. Honestly - read it. If you enjoy fantasy or games or just thrillers for that matter, this is a great set of novellas. In this last one, we even have a love story of sorts. This time around the game is chess and our narrator has become one of the players, a player in the Great Game - the game for control of the Gameshouse. His name is Silver and he's been working toward this moment for ages. He's a King in the game, of course, and has gathered forces that he can deploy. His opponent has her own resources, possibly more powerful than his. This one had even more action than the last two. Chess is a dangerous game, but it also has more meaning - for the world as a whole and for Silver personally. My one complaint had to do with a part near the end. Silver...
Read More

The Thief by Claire North

I'm not a fan of playing hide-and-seek. When I was a kid, I was always afraid everyone else would go inside or to another kid's house and just leave me hiding. I don't think it ever actually happened, but that doesn't mean I didn't worry about it. And it was even worse if it was dark. The hide-and-seek game in The Thief is awesome though. The "board" is Thailand in the 1930s and the stakes are huge, but the game might be unfairly weighted. This is the second in the trilogy and I think they should definitely be read, or listened to, in order. Thene's game in The Serpent was not exactly fair either, but that was nothing in comparison to the disadvantages our player is dealing with here. It's a thread thoughout - the Gameshouse may not be as fair as it (she) would like you to believe. Once again, North does  wonderful job building her world. Thailand in the 30s...
Read More