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Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: A Death Displaced

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
A Death Displaced
by Andrew Butcher

Plot Summary:

When Nicolas Crystan has a daydream of a woman falling to her death, he brushes it off as just that: a daydream. Later, signs occur that are too exact to deny; it was a vision of the future. Nicolas acts fast to save the lady's life... not thinking of the consequences.

Juliet Maystone, saved from death, becomes displaced in this world, giving her an unexpected ability. After seeking the help of a famous medium, it turns out there's more to life than Juliet ever could have imagined. But how ready is she to face up to this?

Set on Lansin Island, an island with a macabre story of its own, Nicolas and Juliet must work together, using their abilities to unravel the mystery surrounding an unsolved death and a secluded manor: rumoured to be haunted.

Expectations:

Paranormal mystery - with such an interesting premise! I love the idea of escaping death giving you extrasensory perception.

Review:

This novel had an unexpected depth with the narrative especially in Nicolas as the perfect example of the every-man, with insecurities and family issues that ground him in reality even as he realizes the extent of his newfound abilities.  Workaholic Juliet Maystone equally is sensible and grounded as she deals with her own family issues and a near-death experience.  I felt like the beginning chapters sets up the intriguing premise well, and from the plot summary I was expecting a sort of straight-forward mystery, but as it turns out the mystery has fantasy elements.  The setting of A Death Displaced does set up these fantastical elements - Lansin Island was the scene of witch burnings,  rampant superstition and pagan beliefs, some of which persist today, though Nicholas and Juliet were much more skeptical in the beginning.

The pacing of the story slows down a bit in between the first meeting of Nicholas and Juliet and the occurrence that forces Juliet to seek out Nicholas again.  Then the story takes that fantastical turn where supernatural abilities extend to a new, more sinister character.  The second half of the book - though more interesting - didn't flow as well as the first for me, and I felt some of the actions of certain characters were made just to create a certain situation without sufficiently setting it up in the character's nature.  There is a very sweetly set-up romance with Nicolas and Juliet - these characters have such painful past histories that it was so perfect they would find each other.  Overall I really enjoyed this story - it is an interesting blend of contemporary, fantasy and mystery and has many surprises.

review copy kindly provided by the author

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