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Courting Death by Livia Hardy
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Courting Death

by Livia Hardy

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This really wasn't the story for me. Although it was short, it really felt as though it was dragging. Hardy's writing is very pro-noun heavy and the novella would have been half as long if she hadn't devoted paragraphs to describing every one of Alex's actions. The text on the whole felt rather clumsy and I felt that this really hampered the scenes where Alex dodged traffic as it just wasn't kinetic enough to express the excitement and tension he felt.

Characters were also very shallow. I appreciate that the novel is very short but no one really feels developed at all. Even Max's actions have no explanation - she seems to be suffering from some kind of emotional trauma but we never discover what it is. The character of Death was an interesting addition but, again, I never fully understood his motives. Why was he so fixated on Alex over anyone else on the planet? Alex himself was definitely the most developed character but he was still utterly unlikable. He was so self-centred and keen to hurt (or even kill) people around him for no perceivable reason. I really couldn't empathise with his situation because he was so utterly vile.

Finally, there was the conclusion. As you might have gathered from other reviews, the book ends rather on an incredibly bleak note that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Worse still, it ends with no sense of catharsis. Alex never regrets his actions or fully explains what happened to Jay and we never really discover enough about Max to care about her. The ending left the book feeling unfinished and utterly unsatisfying.

I read this book because I won it in a Goodreads giveaway but it's certainly not one I'd recommend to people looking to buy. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Dec 1, 2015 |
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