Tuesday, June 19, 2012

30 Day Book Challenge! Day 18: Disappointed

Day 18: What is a book that Disappointed you?

"Marcus Annan had killed before. He had killed so many times he could no longer remember them all...so many times he had become inured to the ache of sorrow as he stared into the faces of the dead. Some had deserved to die; some hadn't. It mattered not. They were all dead, and he could not bring them back. Unlike himself, they would never have to wonder if the end would ever come, if life would go on and on forever, taunting in its gaiety, tormenting in its bleakness."

A while back, I read a lovely novel entitled Behold the Dawn (excerpt above). Set during the crusades, it is an exciting (and yes, dramatic) tale of a hardened tourneyer running from - tortured by - the guilt of past deeds, and the redemption he eventually finds in the forgiveness of Christ. Receiving a feeling of contented happiness at the end, I immediately investigated K. M. Weiland and was delighted to find another novel - a Western - by the same authoress!

Unfortunately, this story was not nearly as satisfying as the first. It wasn't a bad story, per se, but it simply wasn't on par with Behold the Dawn. In the first place, it was rather confusing to follow for the first half of the story (at least). Each chapter switched back and forth between two different times, and because it was only a 29-year difference, there were some characters who existed in both stories, some who only were in one or the other, and some who were in both, but one didn't realize it was the same person. Of course, the purpose of this was that everything would finally click into place in the last chapter, and it did, but it was way too confusing in the meantime. In addition, the story was not as redeeming or satisfying as I would have wished it, with the resolution being made by the main character "having" to shoot his father-figure. The man deserved to die (he had committed many murders), and would never have seen justice (he was the judge and bribed the sheriff), and would have continued to kill for what he wanted (he had no remorse for what he had done), but it gives a strange twist on the views of "right" and "wrong", leaving you in a bit of a quandary. I mean, Shane didn't go with the intention of shooting Wilcock, he went hoping the man who raised him would agree to turn himself in. It was only when Wilcock refused and threatened Shane that he pulled the trigger - but it wasn't quite in such a way that one felt it was self-defense - and no one in the story ever claimed it was. A Man Called Outlaw is a story about standing up for what is right, but Shane took way too long to do it, and then swung way too far the other way. So yes, this book was a disappointment to me.

But you really should read Behold the Dawn - it's lovely!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Bummer--sounds a bit strange! I'll have to add Behold the Dawn to my list of reading!