Monday, September 17, 2012

Joint Review: Niceville by Carsten Stroud

by:  Carsten Stroud
published by:  Knopf
publish date:  June 12, 2012

Something is wrong in Niceville. . .  
A boy literally disappears from Main Street.  A security camera captures the moment of his instant, inexplicable vanishing. An audacious bank robbery goes seriously wrong: four cops are gunned down; a TV news helicopter is shot and spins crazily out of the sky, triggering a disastrous cascade of events that ricochet across twenty different lives over the course of just thirty-six hours.

 . . .Something is wrong in Niceville, where evil lives far longer than men do.

I was excited to read Niceville because I thought the synopsis sounded very interesting.  About a quarter of the way into the book, I wasn't so excited anymore.  Niceville was a disappointment to me.  It think it tried to be too many things at once.  The ghost story was really cool and had it been the main focal point of the story, I would have liked it a lot more.  For me, there were too many characters to keep track of as well as too many points of view.  The bank robbery really had nothing to do with the ghost story part, so it made the book very disjointed to me.  The ending was just in a word, cheesy.  I'll be honest, I'm not even sure why I finished the book.  I think I wanted to see how the ghost story ended.  

This book is being compared to be  Stephen King-like...for me, not so much.  I'm not sure I would recommend this title.  

I could see the Stephen King influences on this book.  Niceville had multiple, intertwining storylines taking place in a small town.  I didn't dislike this book as much as Kari did, but it wasn't one of my favorites.  I also found it to be a little unconnected.  It was almost like the writer had two story ideas, but there wasn't enough there with either one of them for a whole book so they got squashed together in this one book.
Unlike Kari, I liked the bank robbery storyline over the ghost story.  It felt better plotted out.  The ghost story seemed to take a back burner at times then at the end, there was just a kinda quick almost offhanded conclusion to it.  I would have liked a little more development of that aspect of the book.

Will I be singing the praises of this book?  Probably not.  But I might be inclined to check out what this author wrote and see how it compares. 

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