The amazing libido-less college students!,
This review is from: Regina's Song (Mass Market Paperback)rating 3.5;
I am a serious fan of david and leigh eddings work (the fact that I bought this book in a bookshop in Emmen, Netherlands and lugged it around europe and then home before reading it should testify to how much I wanted to like this book). Reading it, I separated this book from edding's other works of fantasy, and thought more along the lines of High Hunt and the Losers.
I Have to say yes, it was an okay book. I Liked the idea of the houseful of graduate students (would have been nice if there was some conflict and drama there- put a house full of smart poeple in a room and see if they just get along like a bunch of sixth graders...no chance! They argue and discuss, explore ideas and cut them down...I know because I was one! And me and my friends often found like cats and dogs over some issues! Smart people have opinions and typically like to express them!) and thought the dialog and characterizations were a little weak for what are supposed to be group of upper echelon students. Of course none of them swear or have a libido! Seriously they have a house rules that there is no hanky-panky...cool...but nobody goes elsewhere either. The repression should have blown the roof off! That aside, the story of one twin truggling to maintaining her sanity after the rape/murder of her sister was an interesting one, though I think eddings could have dropped the serial killer angle and just explored the remaining twin struggling to rebuilt her life without the schlock. It would have made a very agreeable story I think. Don't get me wrong, I like reading horror/serial killer books at times as well. It just didn't seem to be necessary here. There was already enough possibility without it.
That said I think the exploration of the killer angle was quite suspenceful at times and did add some edge to the story. But, as in the losers and high hunt, I don't think eddings needs to resort to cheap devices to built a credible story. I do think this story is overlong, some of the banter between characters a little weird and the Charlie's brother being a cop in the know just a little too convienient (as is his willingness to tell them everything he knows in a public bar).
By the end I was just glad I had finished. It's a hard book to read continuously. I did like eddings occasional academic observation/idea from the mouths of his characters. Just that there wasn't enough push in the story: let's face it we've probably all read lots of serial killer books and compared to say Primal Fear, William Diehl, this book really just doesn't do it, espiecally with the hardy boy-esque murder investigation by the main character (the narrator). Probably the most annoying aspect is the remaining twin is WAAAAY too schmaltzy and cute and two-dimensional. She needed greater exploration. I felt at times like the wholesomeness was just too much. Makes we wonder what's in the water i if everybody in Seattle (where to story is set) is just so nice (this the place that gave the world Nirvana and the Green river murderer).
I think eddings did miss an opportunity here to create something outside the usual.
Overall an okay book. Pleasant and unforced but won't keep you up at night turning pages. I guess it's just too nice for me.