Mini Book Reviews: In the Distance and Death and the Maiden

Hello, friends!

The end of August was kind of a sad month for me in terms of books. I read two books and both were disappointments. It took me forever to get through them. So I figured that I would share my small reviews about them in one post.

In the Distance by Hernan Diaz

When I started out with this book, I had really high hopes. The historical setting of America during the Westward expansion was engaging. I liked the beginning of the main character’s journey and the writing style was evocative. The book soon lost its appeal when the storyline had too many periods that dragged with monotony. Even though the book its just under 300 pages, it felt like it took me forever to get through it.

Death and the Maiden by Samantha Norman and Ariana Franklin

I was SO excited to come across this book a the library. Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death series is one of my absolute favorites! It introduced me to some of my favorite genres, historical fiction and medieval fiction. This final book in the series was written by Franklin’s daughter and it didn’t live up to the expectations set by the previous books. It had very little inclusion of forensic medicine, which is a major thing I loved about the previous books. The well loved characters in the series were also not portrayed in the same way.

Norman’s writing style was all over the place and the mystery hardly felt like a mystery. I also disappointed in the reveal of the killer because their motive was not explored at all. Nothing even remotely exciting happened until about 80% of the way through. Which was frustrating because it’s a 400 page book! Ugh. I just don’t have a single good thing to say about this book. I rarely rant about books that I’ve read but this one was a huge let down.

I’m currently reading Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft and I hope it will break this depressing streak. I’m enjoying it so far.


Have you read either of these books? I’d love to hear what you thought.


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