A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Series: Shadows Over England #2
Published by Baker Books on January 2nd 2018
Source: Celebrate Lit
Genres: 20th Century, Christian, Fiction, Historical, Romance
Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I--to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.
Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won--until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.
But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't--that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.
Note: Content review is missing as I did not finish the book. I will update the post at a later date to link to a friend’s content review.
I wanted to love this book. I’ve heard so much about the first book that I fell for the hype. I couldn’t resist picking up, ‘A Song Unheard.” Of course, it helped that the cover features a violinist. My daughters are violinists so I had to have this book. Although, I will say that I’ve found half-dozen books within the last year about violinists. So, I can’t help but wonder if it’s the new trending thing.
Right away I was having a lot of issues with this book. Character introspection bleeds over heavily throughout. It works well for me in a story written in first-person but not so much in third. When one adds a lot of character introspection, it’s very easy for all the characters to have the same personality and that’s exactly what happened in this book.
I also struggled with fragmented sentences. My good friend, Fizzy speaks in fragments. It’s not unusual for her to call me and utter, “I. Am. So. Done. With. Today.” It’s just her way, and it works for her. But it’s really hard to read in a book. I begin reading in a robot voice in my head. It feels disjointed and disrupts the flow of reading for me.
The fragment problem brings me to my next issue which is a lack of embellishment. I crave beautiful words on paper. I need them. I don’t want to see, “Lifted her bow. Closed her eyes. And she played.” I want to know how the violin felt to her. I need to know how she lifted it to her chin, savoring the feel of the smooth wood and the sound of the rich notes as she pulled her bow over the strings. I want to feel her emotion. I don’t want to be told she had them. I want to see it. I want to feel it.
Repetitive phrases and words also distracted me from the story but I think this once again goes back to character introspection seeping its way into the story.
I was also bothered that several characters were referred to as, “Miss Davies,” and “the other Miss Davies,” or,”the first Miss Davies,” and “the second Miss Davies.” This led to much confusion on my behalf as I struggled to connect who was first/second or other. I had a hard time following the dialogue and had to turn back a page so I could figure out who was who.
I gave this book my very best but eventually laid it down. I think there are a lot of people who will love seeing quirky character introspection. In fact, I think my reading partner will probably like this book. I don’t think that it will bother her at all. I definitely know that the fragmented sentences won’t bother her because…well…
My point is, just because this particular book wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean that I think everyone will dislike it. This author and series have a lot of support. So don’t completely write this book off just because it wasn’t for me.