Review: Something Red by Douglas Nicholas

October 12, 2012 2 stars, Book Review 13 ★★

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.

Find Something Red: Amazon | BD | Goodreads

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.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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13 Responses to “Review: Something Red by Douglas Nicholas”

  1. Leah

    I received a copy of this one from netgalley and initially I was beyond excited. It sounded awesome. Then I went to read it and, unfortunately, the formatted was totally screwed up. I adore decorative pages, but they all showed up black. I attempted to plow ahead anyway and hope I’d get enough out of the rest of the book to understand what I had missed on those other pages, but gave up after reading some disappointing reviews. In the end I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. :/
    Leah recently posted…review; the hero’s guide to saving your kingdomMy Profile

  2. Jade

    Aww the description sounds interesting and the characters well written. Too bad it kind of dragged by. I don’t do well with books that move at such slow paces. I’m going to need SOMETHING to be happening to keep my interest. Nice, honest review.
    Jade recently posted…Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: Book List!My Profile

    • Pabkins

      That is what I was thinking too but if you bore the brains out of people most will give up before reaching the end.

  3. emaginette

    You have an interesting take on this book. I’m not sure if I should pick it up or not. I guess I’ll watch for more reviews. After a few I might sort it out. 🙂
    emaginette recently posted…Internship at F2KMy Profile

    • Pabkins

      It was a sort of a weird experience. I doubt I’ll give the author another chance, which is sad he does write beautifully, just not enough oomph for me personally.

  4. Kimberlybuggie

    Thanks for the review! I totally agree. I did like the writing, and it didn’t pick up till the end. But that wasn’t enough for me to recommend the book to others. The beginning was just too long and I didn’t feel like enough happened.
    They have an ox. They go up a hill. They go down the hill….

    Great review.
    Kimberlybuggie recently posted…Spooktacular Giveaway!My Profile

    • Pabkins

      Oh jeez yes that is how I felt. I was like what is up with all this mundane descriptions of their traveling, come on now really…