Monday, August 18, 2014

Winter Solstice - David Caldarola

Winter Solstice is the first novel in the Alaric Trilogy. This book is $3.99 for the kindle. It's hard to describe this tale as belonging to a specific genre. Adventure, supernatural, religious, and even horror come to mind. You'll have to decide for yourself.

It's 1898 in the town of Exeter England, and Christmas is coming. Four good friends have gathered together to complain about the holidays. Clark Edmondson is the scholar in the group, with his fellow scholar and house-mate Svetlana. Reverend Harold Avery is a man of the cloth, and is accompanied by his ward Jeremy. Peter Allen Daniels is an artist and has brought his muse Elinor. Finally, Major Volker VonWaltrin is a retired German army officer who brought is friend and confidant Samuel to the meeting. The group is engaged in a discussion that leads them to decide on a unique plan of action. They'll each spend some time doing research, and the following year, on the eve of a new century, they'll meet again to decide on an adventure. An adventure to confront evil directly. The group has no idea how well their plans will work.

As I read this story I was reminded at times of Jules Verne, H.P. Lovecraft, and even Charles Dickens. In most cases that was good. I've enjoyed all three authors. The thing to note about all of those authors is, they wrote close to 100 years ago. This book seems to have that older feel to it as well.

This book was hard to put down at times, but frustrating at others. The villain and some of the other characters pontificated far too much for my taste. I prefer tales that move at a faster and more active pace. I found myself skimming whole sections of monologue at times.

This novel has elements I like and elements I don't. There are some circumstances when an introduction to a work of fiction is necessary, but I prefer a story that speaks for itself. This introduction went well beyond setting the stage for the chapters to follow. I usually skip poems or quotes at the beginning of chapters. This book provides poems. I read some, but skimmed over most.

The characters are very well done, and the plot is great, it's the extra words that got in the way at times. That said I enjoyed the story. The ending leaves the reader impatient for the rest of the trilogy. In spite of some problem I had, the story shines through. I highly recommended this book.

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