Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Night Shift Reading Struggles

"At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town. 
Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place. 
And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose—which just might happen—it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be..."
So I’ve been dragging my ass reading Night Shift by Charlaine Harris.  As the third and final book in her Midnight trilogy, I'm kind of not surprised at my paling mood.  While I finished the first book in the series not long after its May 2014 release; a year later, it took me six months to finish the second book.  Why?  Because it was just unexciting.  And now that same bored, languid feeling has arrived in Night Shift.  No matter how many second winds I suck, I just don't think this book is going to happen.
The days kept ticking.  And ticking.  And ticking.  And four days since cracking the book open, I've yet to jump over 93 pages.  The sad part is I like the characters populating the book/town.  I like their individual quirks and supernatural presences (there's psychic, witch, were-tiger, vampire, etc.).  I like how each attempts to serve the mysteries surrounding their small town.  Yet, by God, there just isn’t enough fire and movement in the story to keep me wholly invested.  On second thought, it's as if I'm in love with the idea of the characters, but that's almost the extent of it. 

The thing is there’s always an over-arching plot for them to waddle in concerning the town‘s safety.  So they all come together and pitch in to solve a common disruption. However, there always seems to be chapters filled with branching mini-stories focusing on one character, and his or her individual woes and upsets.  Cool and interesting, right?  Not necessarily.  To keep it frank, those character-driven chapters registered as drawn-out filler, disguised as progression.  And that may be all well and good, if it didn't crippled the over-arching story/small town mystery.  
To me–in the 93 pages I'd managed–the little side stories just never quite coalesced to the over-arching main story.  Or I didn't have the patience to find the cohesion between the two.  How could I when so early on I got a fifteen-page chapter of the psychic character, Manfred, giving a seemingly irrelevant reading to a client?  Or the witch character, Fiji (who happened to have once been my favorite), spending entire chapters fussing with her eldest sister (a prejudice harpy that increased my dissatisfaction with the book) about a whole bunch of nothing?
Cool.  Maybe related.  But not all that interesting after a while, unless you really favor the character and his/her role.
Bored out of my mind with Night Shift, I did the unthinkable by cheating.  I skipped to the end to sniff out what I really had to look forward to.  What I found sealed the deal.  It appears Harris has been reading a little too much of Anita Blake books lately.  Because her demon-snuffing resolution came plucked straight out of a Laurell K. Hamilton book.
Err… my instincts are always on point.
Still, I looking forward to the NBC show next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews