Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book review of Susan May Warren's Nightingale

Susan May Warren probably doesn't need my review. After all, she's Susan May Warren, author of something like a cajillion books that have garnered somewhere around a budzillion reviews -- most of them 5 stars of course. And why not? She's a brilliant author.

But it isn't often I finish reading a book with that sad sense of a great thing coming to an end like I did this week. I've enjoyed a number of her books, but she now has 2 on my Best Ever list. The first is her Sons of Thunder. The second, the one I just finished reading -- which I'd had on my TBR pile for over a year, waiting patiently for a time to savor it -- is Nightingale.

Here's why I loved this book so much.

  • Beautiful, descriptive language and dialogue that squeezes your windpipe. Here's an example from near the beginning of the book:
   For one terrifying, quick moment, she fell to her stomach, her hand gripped to his.
   And oh, she knew it, he gripped it back. She felt his stump fingers tighten in hers, a pulse of hope, of redemption.
   She knew it because when their hold broke free, it snapped, like the ice breaking beneath her feet at the edge of winter, crisp and sharp and fatal.
   Not at all like flying. 

And another:

   "I'm a coward." His voice turned to washboard, jerky and stiff against the wind, sharp-edged with the remnants of winter.

And one more:

   He tried for his breath, couldn't snag it even as Fritz stepped up to him, his voice dark and earthy. "And you'll die here, just like your father. I wonder if he cried out when they gassed him--"
  •  Made up words that describe perfectly. I love this: Her fawny hair lay like a halo around her chubby face.
Fawny! Can't you see it?
  •  The history goes deep, but I'm so mesmerized by the perils of the characters, I don't feel weighted by it.

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