Friday, 21 June 2013

San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Kathleen Duey

San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
by Kathleen Duey

Summary: It is the glittering center of the new West, brash young San Francisco, dominated by the luxurious Palace Hotel, where tycoons mingle with famous artists, politicians, and the young American aristocracy. Where 18-year-old housekeeper Sierra O'Nielle, still smarting from a flirtatious gentleman's snub, realizes it is time to face reality and remember her place -- until she sees Joseph Harlan, the handsome son of a wealthy cattle rancher. The sizzling electricity that flows between them is impossible to ignore....

Joseph has come to find a suitable bride. His father will do anything to keep him from a maid. Until the fateful April night Sierra is thrown into Joseph's arms as the earthquake of the century devastates the city. Suddenly they are bound together, racing through the cobbled streets seeking shelter from raining bricks, panicked crowds, and the wall of flame that threatens to devour all that is left....
I didn't go into this book expecting a literary masterpiece or anything, but I was still left pretty disappointed. I didn't really like this book at all. It definitely had potential as far as the story goes but the execution of it just wasn't good.

The main problem was that the book was really short, and yet there seemed to be so much pointless junk thrown in but very little stuff that mattered. It's like, stuff that would actually be worth having (like character development, or relationship development between the main characters, for example) were thrown out the window to make room for the pointless stuff (there was seriously about a whole chapter that was basically just Sierra walking to work--in a book this short, that's not good).

The summary makes it sound like it's about two characters, Sierra and Joseph. That it's a story about their romance in the midst of a disaster. But instead, it barely felt like a romance and there were like seven other POV's (possibly more? not sure?) thrown in that really were not needed--at least four of those added nothing at all to the story and just felt like they were there for the sake of being there.

With such a short book, all that unnecessary stuff should not be there. I didn't give a damn about any of the characters really--the side ones because they were just annoyances that kept interrupting the parts of the story I wanted to read and the main ones because I wasn't given enough to make me care about them, it was so diluted by all the other stuff.

As for not feeling like much of a romance, aside from the issue of other POV's getting in the way, there was this too:

Sierra wasn't a very good character, she was so fickle when it came to feelings. One minute she thinks herself in love with one dude she barely knows and then the minute this other guy shows her some attention she thinks she's in love with him instead. And it's not love, none of it is love. Honestly, she just seemed like a bit of a gold digger really--she wanted a rich husband and a fancy life, so whenever these guys showed her even the tiniest shred of attention, she latched onto that and started picturing herself as his wife. And Joseph didn't love her, it was lust mostly.

It was insta-love at it's very worst. But it didn't have to be--if those POV's that added nothing to the story were cut, and we were just allowed to stick with the two main characters and more effort was put into developing their relationship then it could've been a pretty good book.

Basically, it just wasn't good. I didn't care about the characters, didn't care about their relationships, didn't believe the characters loved each other or belonged together it was just...not good.

I'd rate it 1.5 stars out of 5. And that's me being generous (the 1.5 is purely because I do think the story could've been good--it's one of those books that I'd like if it were a disaster movie, it would work in that medium but not so much as a least, not this book). I am not really looking forward to reading the other book in the series I got.


1 comment:

  1. Yikes! My city had a number of big earthquakes two years ago and so i looked at this premise thinking, oh now that could be interesting and relevant. At the review, not so much!

    This is a really great, thorough review! Thanks for sharing :)



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