Sorry. I have so much to read and I felt myself dragging with this because well…because I think I like to be difficult even to myself. First off, I enjoyed this, I did, but I did also try to be a bit more analytical in my reading so that I’m not always like ‘guys this was so good, go read it, kthxbye.’ So here we go, wish me luck, I’m super bad with critical thinking, it’s the 1/4 potato in me, I’m not sure how I’ve survived this long…okay, review:
I’ve rounded up on Goodreads to a 4, but really I give it 3.5/5. (holy crap nevermind it stays a 4 this is this man’s debut novel, crap, it has so much promise)
The book was highly entertaining and some of his descriptions were just delightful to read as someone who is an adopted Louisianian with experience in New Orleans.
Things I loved:
-The descriptions were so crisp and easily recalled images to my head of the bayous and swamps.
-The characters were DEFINITELY intriguing.
-I have a master’s in Musicology with a concentration in Jazz…how could I not love the fact that Louis freakin Armstrong was a character and not just that but an amateur sleuth as well!
-There were three completely separate investigations of this case and so you got the examine it from different angles and I couldn’t think of anything more awesome than that as a lover of crime and mystery.
-Did I mention how much I loved having a 1919 Noir era setting in New Orleans? People forget about it!
-The various twists and changing forms of this Elusive Axeman which turned out to be great for me, exactly what I like when I read this genre
-The epilogue was perfect, it gave me life, ugh, perfect entrance to book 2
Things I did not love:
-The pacing, sometimes it really did fit, sometimes I wanted to cry because I felt like not only was I not getting anywhere but neither were the characters
-Louis Armstrong is actually a point for and a point against this book, it almost breaks your suspension of disbelief. (But it didn’t for me which is why I loved it)
-Character growth could have been more, so many things happened to the characters and yet you found out so little about how it affected them on a deeper level
-It almost WASN’T a crime/mystery/thriller because of the slow pacing, I felt as if I were reading filler episodes.
-Though I loved the descriptions of the bayou, I felt that once you got out of the French Quarter the beautiful descriptions seemed to dwindle, but, still, that’s like me just nitpicking because of my ties to New Orleans (city where everyone asks you how far you are from it no matter where in Lousiana you live, amiright? Honestly, I lived four hours away, and when you try to tell people you live near Shreveport or Monroe they just stare at you blankly, sorry, rant over)
This was a lot of fun to read but I’m hoping the issues I had in pacing are fixed in Dead Man’s Blues which I already had checked out before this, not realizing they were part of a series, a quartet actually.
Overall: Ray Celestin is great, I can’t wait to read the next one and it was so great to be transported to New Orleans 1919, BRING ON CAPONE & CHICAGO 1928!!!!
Spoilers: (Highlight below to see them)
-What the hell about poor Riley, do we find out more?! WHAT WAS THIS RAY?!
-WHAT ABOUT LUCA?! (Also, I mean guessing from how that was left, what the hell did happen to our Axeman?)