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CSFF: The Shock of Night

Posted by on December 9, 2015

Today CSFF Blog Tour wraps up. Have you hopped over to see what others have said about Patrick W. Carr’s newest world?

Well, I’ve finally finished the book. Monday night. I was cutting it a little close, I know, but I had 50 pages left to read, and I didn’t want to just read it to finish it.  I wanted to savor it. And so I did.

I also didn’t want to chance bawling my eyes out in the car line when I went to pick my son up. Ha!

So without further ado:

The Shock of Night

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded on the streets of Bunard, Willet Dura is called to investigate. Yet the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers. As Willet begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to the city, no closer to answers than before, but his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, a twist seen at the edge of his vision, and it’s as though he can see their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he’s been passed the rarest gift of all: a gift that’s not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he’s pulled into a much more dangerous and epic conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world–a conflict that will force him to come to terms with his own tortured past if he wants to survive.

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About the Author

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.


My thoughts

Sherlock meets Warbreaker meets The Follower of the Word series.

I’m not sure what to think of this adventure. On one hand, it was so good! On the other hand…I have so many unanswered questions. Overall, I enjoyed it, but the ending felt a little anticlimactic for me. Yet, I’m over here like where’s the next book???

What I loved: It’s deep. Intense. Fast-paced. Dark. The worldbuilding is amazing. The gifts/talents, which got me thinking about the talents we possess in our world. The four religious orders, the Vigil, the court, and the culture. We have only scraped the surface of this world, and I look forward to seeing what Carr will do with it.

But I think even better are the characters. Myles the apothecary, Bolt, the swordsman protector but will slit your throat if need be, Custos, the librarian priest. Rory and all the street urchins. They are complex, quirky, and broken. Just like us. They felt so real. As in I-am-missing-my-friends-real.

Some of my hang-ups: I was a bit confused at what the characters were alluding to at times. And I almost walked away from the novel when Dura received the “gift”. If I hadn’t read the novella first and Dura’s character hadn’t been already established, I might have. But I knew Dura from By Divine Right, so I pushed through, and I’m so glad I did.

It’s a murder mystery fantasy and that’s what hooked me when I first heard about it, but don’t let that label fool you. The story and world are so much bigger, and I wonder how the story will continue. Will Dura still be solving murders like he did as a reeve? Or now that he has this “gift”, will the flavor of the next books be changed? Will it be more like the classic fantasy stories where the world hangs in the balance between the battle of good and evil? It seems as such, and not that that is a bad thing. Those are the kind of books I love the most. Still, I wonder can a murder mystery novel exist in a fantasy world without the end of the world type feel?

I would definitely recommend this book, but make sure you read By Divine Right first. It will help. Trust me.

*** I received this book from the publisher to read and review in conjunction with the CSFF blog tour.***


Don’t forget to check out what the other bloggers are saying!

Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Carol Bruce Collett
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rani Grant
Rebekah Gyger
Bruce Hennigan
Janeen Ippolito
Carol Keen
Rebekah Loper
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jessica Thomas
Robert Treskillard
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Michelle R. Wood

6 Responses to CSFF: The Shock of Night

  1. Rebekah Loper

    It is reminiscent of Warbreaker, and I hadn’t thought of that before! I really need to read that again. Hubby read it recently, and keeps making comments and I’m like “I haven’t read it since it first came out, I don’t remember!”

    My heart about broke at the end of the book with you-know-who’s death, and the realization that Willet really does have to watch everything around him change again, and no amount of fighting it will help anymore.

    And yeah, By Divine Right should really be bundled WITH it somehow. There’s so much that wouldn’t make sense without it.

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Yes! My heart did too. I can’t wait to see how the story will continue. Maybe they’ll bundle By Divine Right later? Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Janeen Ippolito

    I love your comment about the murder mystery being in a rather high fantasy world. They are two very different elements that worked well in this story, but it does feel like they would pull apart in the future. It will be interesting to see how Carr balances it!

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Thanks! I agree, it will be very interesting to see how the story will go from here. I’m hoping he will maintain the reeve story line. I love the murder mystery aspect set in fantasy world. I’ve got a series percolating on the back burner that I would love to explore down the road. We shall see! Though it will not be high fantasy, if you could imagine that. All of my ideas are usually epic fantasy, so we shall see! So many ideas, so little time. ha! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Michelle R. Wood

    Agreed on the prequel: it’s what hooked me with the character. I also agree that it would be nice to see the series continue with the murder mystery aspects. Obviously there’s an otherworldly evil out there, but I liked the fact that we didn’t end on a climatic “end of the world” battle. There’s room in the realm for “smaller” (but no less important) battles.

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Agreed! And I hope that it will continue like that. Perhaps the climatic end of the world story line is the overarching line that ties in all the novels that will be written, maybe??? Thanks for stopping by!

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J.L Mbewe - Author