Pabkin’s One Liner: Beautifully written, achingly boring.
From debut author Douglas Nicholas comes a haunting story of love, murder, and sorcery. During the thirteenth century in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable yet charming Irish healer, Molly, and the troupe she leads are driving their three wagons, hoping to cross the Pennine Mountains before the heavy snows set in. Molly, her lover Jack, granddaughter Nemain, and young apprentice Hob become aware that they are being stalked by something terrible. The refuge they seek in a monastery, then an inn, and finally a Norman castle proves to be an illusion. As danger continues to rise, it becomes clear that the creature must be faced and defeated—or else they will all surely die. It is then that Hob discovers how much more there is to his adopted family than he had realized.
An intoxicating blend of fantasy and mythology, Something Red presents an enchanting world full of mysterious and fascinating characters— shapeshifters, sorceresses, warrior monks, and knights—where no one is safe from the terrible being that lurks in the darkness. In this extraordinary, fantastical world, nothing is as it seems, and the journey for survival is as magical as it is perilous.
I had a discordant relationship with Something Red. I loved the way the author wrote. His descriptions of the surroundings were so vivid and the dialogue really gave you that authentic feeling … right down to the cursing. In my opinion one can always use a good dose of colorful expletives. BUT! – I absolutely could not content myself with the plodding pace. I kid you not when I say it literally moved just as slow as the 13th century wagon the cast was traveling in.
Though, I have to hand it to Douglas Nicholas, he did a great job portraying his main character Hob. He was a well thought out and likeable character, merely a preteen but he had a sensible head on his shoulders and still knew how to be a kid. I became very fond of him and was interested in seeing his character progression. The other three travelers were also very intriguing. It was unfortunate that the story itself drug on at a snail’s pace with what I felt were so many unnecessary scenes. All of the extra descriptive rest that I had to push through made it hard to stay focused and want to continue reading.
Something Red didn’t start to pick up until the last 75 pages which actually zipped by. I admit I really enjoyed the ending, and didn’t have the faintest idea through the course of the story as to what sort of outcome there would be. In that way it threw me a curve. So kudos to Nicholas for that. However, I don’t believe that the ending alone was enough to make up for the rest of the reading experience.
Follow Douglas Nicholas: S&S Author Page
• This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.