Yesterday you had the interview; today you get the book review – Christina Bergling’s novel The Rest Will Come
Let’s get the disclaimers out of the way:
1 – I received a free copy of the book. Since finishing it, I’ve bought a copy. (As I’ve mentioned before, we need to support the arts – musicians, authors, artists and so on. If you don’t, they won’t be many of us left before long.)
2 – Confessions of a Reviewer who are organising this for Christina have represented me in the past.
None of those have influenced my review and what follows is an honest opinion.
So, before we get to the review, what’s it about?
Murder can be risky…and not just for the douchebags on the business end of Emma’s power
Men only let Emma down. They cheat, and they lie. They send unsolicited pictures of their
genitals. Ready to give up hope, Emma decides to go on one last date. Then it finally happens—
she finds the thing she loves most of all.
Killing clueless jerks she finds on the internet.
Lost in a happy haze of hunting her victims, devising increasingly-clever killings, and
streamlining her dismemberment process, Emma gets careless.
As her need for her murderous outlet grows, she runs an increasing risk of getting caught…or
worse—falling for one of her victims.
I’m afraid to say I wasn’t too keen on this book. It had a lot of potential but failed to live up to it.
(I’m going to try and avoid any spoilers in the review so please excuse any vague statements.)
Let’s start with the good stuff.
Great cover and tagline: murder might be her one true love.
The overall premise is good: a woman who is utterly frustrated by her repeated failures with men (some do sound like ‘douchebags’ to be fair) so comes up with an extreme solution.
The opening is strong.
There are some nice lines in the text (‘roommates with rings’ & ‘wrapped around a digital finger’ spring to mind) and a few choice descriptions.
I like the ‘life reversal’ of the protagonist and her best friend and the feelings that brought up.
The humour is world-weary and realistic.
The passages about running were great. (The author runs and this shows.)
No typos! (Shouldn’t even need to be said…)
However, there were some issues that got in the way of these positives.
The timeline jumped around too much at the beginning. The narrative caught up nicely with the opening paragraphs later in the book, but the initial time changes threw me.
There were some sudden scene shifts throughout the story which weren’t immediately obvious.
I think the prose would have been more effective had the descriptions been sparser. As it is, it slows the pace down too much. There were also a few expressions which left me scratching my head and wondering what the author meant.
A large chunk felt like backstory: why the protagonist does what she does and a blow-by-blow account of how she got where she was. This, again, slowed the book down.
Similarly, I found the action scenes lacking tension. With one exception, everything happened too easily for the protagonist: what she did, how she did it, and how she got away with it. Maybe this was the point, but it made the whole experience too flat.
I think the contrast between who the protagonist becomes and her relationship with her best friend could have been expanded on. It was touched upon near the end, (the relationship between these two people was one of the book’s highlights) but I think there was so much more potential there.
As for the end, I was hoping for a climax of some sorts. I saw part of the end coming a long way back in the text, but the exact resolution was a surprise. It’s a quirky way of doing ‘a happily ever after’ that is very clever in some respects but left me feeling high and dry.
All in all, there was enough I liked in the story to consider reading another book by the author, but I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this one too much.
If you’re interested in reading the words behind the words, i.e. what Christina reads when she’s not writing, you can check out her interview below.
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