Book: Heartsnare by Steven B. Williams
Release Date: October 27th 2016
Genre: urban fantasy/supernatural/horror
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I received this review copy through Netgalley from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Yorkshire city of Willingsley is full of straight-shooting, gobby northern folk going about their day to day lives, with their love affairs, their health problems and all of life’s other nonsense grinding on day after day. And then, suddenly, monsters come to town and people start dying.
At the center of it all is Eric Mayfair, a twenty-something who a year ago was facing imminent heart failure. Fatal. Terminal. That’s what the doctors said. And then, miraculously, Eric got better. He doesn’t know how. No one does. All he knows is he has a new heart, a great black leach of a thing embedded in his chest that no one else seems to see. Then someone close to Eric is murdered and, in his search for answers, Eric uncovers an unseen world of monsters, dark powers and deadly secrets.
On Netgalley I happened to stumble upon Heartsnare. This cover really stood out to me from some of the rest and the promise of monsters rapidly made me request this book. Unfortunately the execution of this book ultimately let it down.
The thing is, the start was slow and incredibly boring to me. I get setting up the plot and the lives of these people but for book barely 300 pages one would expect a bit of pace. There was none at that start. I really didn’t care to learn so much about some of their neighbors and all that. I had a hard enough time with Eric and his mother Jardhine. I struggled to connect with either of them.
Especially with Jardhine who did not really have much to do with the supernatural part of the story. It is one thing to have an active parent present, it is entirely another to have her have such a frequent point of view without enveloping her moments into the supernatural parts. She was more there as an incentive to Eric and I don’t think we needed her point of view for that.
That the author used a dialect and slang words and sayings like ta and put the kibosh on it, didn’t entirely help with that either. Having said that, in the second half I stopped noticing it as much and I started getting used to the ta and so on. Dialect and slang can be hard things in books but since this is something that is used in the area that they lived at it did make it realistic.
Around page 150 the book started picking up when the supernatural elements became more clear and a new character was introduced. His point of view was a fresh of breath air throughout the rest of the story. And his interactions with Eric made him come more alive as a character for me as well. The sass was added and the pace picked up. I started enjoying this book.
The idea in itself of the hearts is something I haven’t seen before. Not like this. And that really interests me. But the world building in itself was such a mess. I have so many questions and we got so little answers. I hate especially when the book ends with I have to tell you something but I won’t for your own good. Rolling my eyes here. Keeping things from others never did work out well. Don’t we learn?
Different planets was suddenly dropped into a conversation as if that had been discussed before and I started at the page because I wondered what I missed. Could not for the life of me remember that explanation. And that happened with more things. There would be snippets of conversation happening between two characters and Eric would be there listening in but the information would not be explained. Sometimes I felt it was just assumed that I as a reader would understand the world. I can guess a lot but I really shouldn’t have to. So I have very little grasp on this world at the end of this book. And that is such a shame.