Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reincarnation Fantasy

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25641031-the-pyre
The Pyre, David Hair
This book became a larger blip on my radar after its reissue via one of Hachette's babies, this month (it was previously published in 2010, by Penguin). 
  • I liked reading a book set somewhere other than "somewhere in America" or even "somewhere amongst the Western middle class," I think the novel was more interesting for its Hindu and Sikh elements (and they WERE the story, not tokenistic touches).  I understand how the catalyst sparks of this baby were born -- the story from which this all spawns is intriguing, in a dark, tragic and morbidly curious way...
  • ...as a result, the book is fairly grim and violent, regularly.  It was the kind of sadistic, horrible stuff that I can't think too much on.  Thankfully we are spared details more than given them...although there is blood splurting...so not always the sparing.
  • I was only fond of one of the characters in the present (and not his counterpart, in the past), and similarly, I was only impressed by one character from the past (and not at all by his present counterpart).  If this is deliberate, I'm surprised.
  • For 90% of the book, supernatural or spiritual (you decide) events are a part of the story -- and these lend a horror vibe.  Not much of a fan of that.  Then suddenly, boom, there's content that feels a lot more like magic, out of nowhere!  Right at the end.  Guys, if there had been more of this flavour of stuff sooner I would have read this so much faster!
  • Which brings me to my next gripe -- for a novel with so much happening (there is certainly action), I wasn't as invested as I should've been.  I assume this has to do with my lack of affinity for the characters (Because I only liked two, remember?  No loving).
  • The 560 name-bombardment may also have had something to do with it.  That may be hyperbole, and maybe not, it's hard to say, because it really feels like I was given five hundred and sixty names of people and places that I'm not familiar with and I was asked to understand all of their connections.
  • There's no doubt Hair has a great vocabulary.
  • There was definitely moments where I felt the epic potential. 
Verdict:  If you already know this kind of supernatural fantasy (and with lots and lots of names) is your bag, then maybe try this.  This is Book 1 in a series, and I'm not reading on. 
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