Sunday, September 16, 2012
In the House of the Wicked by Thomas E. Sniegoski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I wasn't sure there would be another book in this series after the last one seemed to reach a bit of a resolution. Plus the author's beloved dog, Mulder, who was the inspiration for Marlowe, passed away. But clearly his new boy, Kirby, is continuing to inspire him. Loving pets is like that, heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time. He even writes in the book about the girl in the story, Ashley, losing her cat, and showed the circle of life when Remy ended up getting Marlowe to comfort her. But perhaps his loss did affect him, or maybe it was just storyline dictated, but this book was lacking in interactions between Marlowe and Remy. One of Sniegoski's major strengths is his warm and humorous portrayal of the relationship between Remy and his dog, and I did miss it I'm this one.
But it was a better book than the last one (which I liked, don't get me wrong). It was more focused and consistently paced. A lot of reviews that I read complained about the changing points of view in the last one, and he did it again in this one, but I think it worked better, it was easier to follow this time. And even enough it was still dark, it was less grim. It just felt like a tighter and more focused book to me with a concept that was more clearly going somewhere.
Except for one thing. I'm kind of confused about the stuff about Squire and the multiple worlds, it just didn't feel consistent with the mythology and world building that the author had developed. It was so strictly Christian up to this point, all about the different classes of angels, Noah, Lucifer, and the Creator, etc., and that's still the major theme. So I don't get where a hobgoblin fits in, or the shadow worlds filled with giant water serpents and insects and other monsters. There was just no explanation for any of it, it was a bit bizarre. I just don't understand how it fits into this mythology except as a tool to tell this particular story. It should have been explained to fit into the world building or done in a more consistent way, I just don't get it.
But overall it was a good story. I worried about the characters and was anxious for their safety. I turned the pages quickly to see what would happen next. I chuckled a few times (the car was cool). And it left me curious to see where the author takes things next. But I do hope Marlowe is in the next book a lot more. Featuring Francis and Steven and whoever else is all very well, but for me it's all about the dog. OK fine, we all know that it's always all about the dog for me. But he really is needed in these books too, he helps keep Remy human and adds a very much need touch of comic relief and lightness to these rather dark stories.
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