Alchemical Words reviews the paranormal fantasy book: The Viscount’s Son by author Aderyn Wood
I just finished a reread of The Wheel of Time series (Yep. The whole thing. All 4+ million words of it. It’ll take me a while to do those fantasy books reviews) and was looking for a literary palate cleanser. I was looking for a read that was in a different genre, something that I could finish in a sitting or two. Maybe something a little dark, tart or spicy. I came across a novella, The Viscount’s Son by Aderyn Wood.
I borrowed the Amazon Book description:
‘The Viscount’s Son’ is a fictional blog that tells the story of book conservator, Emma, and her online project – to transcribe an ancient and mysterious text. The trouble is, Emma’s colleague, Jack, believes the medieval ‘diary’ is a fake. Emma decides to translate the text and leave it up to her readers to decide – so what will you think? Follow Emma’s journey to discern the mysteries of the medieval memoir.
Sounds intriguing, right? At 65 pages and 99 cents for the ebook edition, it sounded like just what I was looking for: something different and do-able in one or two sittings. So, I hit the button and through the miracle that is modern technology, The Viscount’s Son appeared on my iPad.
(Pet peeve alert) Now, I prefer to read ebooks via iBooks because I like the way it makes the screen look like an actual book so I can’t speak to how to The Viscount’s Son appears in other formats. There have been some ebooks I’ve tried to read where the formatting was so dreadful that is rendered the book unreadable. I always consider it a bad sign when I can’t immerse myself in a story because of dreadful formatting (drums of doom sound in the distance).
In iBooks/ePub, the formatting of The Viscount’s Son was impeccable.
I want give the author a tip of my hat for doing such a good job. Good formatting shows me that an author cares about their work and believes in its value. It’s self respect. It’s like brushing your hair and teeth and putting on clean clothes every morning.
Now on to the meat of this snack size sammie. I’m going to try to do this without spoilers.
The story unfolds as a series of blog entries and is told from the POV of Emma, a beautiful, brilliant and bored museum conservator. I’m usually not much for first person POV but the author does it quite well. I especially liked how she used the main character’s blog to blend two stories, past and present, together through Emma’s warm and engaging banter in the present and the elegant, archaic language of the old diary.
I did notice “The Trifecta of Bs” (Bored, Beauty, Brains). This trifecta always seems to spell trouble for the afflicted character. This trifecta is often the bright flashing light warning you that a massive cliche collision is on the horizon. However, the author surprised me and, with Emma, the combination doesn’t feel cliche at all. The author lets us get to know the main character Emma. We understand why she is bored. Why she is frustrated with her life. Why she becomes obsessed with the diary. Why she starts taking chances and living life on the edge.
And although the ending was not a huge surprise, the way it was handled still made it gasp worthy. Yep, I really gave a little gasp with that last blog entry. Emma and Nate are interesting enough characters that I find myself looking forward to reading the next installments of the story.
One thing that left me confused was trying to figure out the genre. I wasn’t sure how to classify this novella. There are overtones of horror, mystery, romance and a definite sprinkling of erotica. The author suggests that there is more story to come so maybe this issue will coalesce and become more clear as the story progresses.
Overall, The Viscount’s Son was just what I was looking for: an enjoyable, curl up on the couch with a blanket read that’s a little spicy, different and definitely worth the 99 cents. Want to check it out? Visit Aderyn Wood’s blog at aderynwood.blogspot.com.au