Everything Under the Heavens by Dana Stabenow
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I wanted to give this book more stars because there were things I really liked. But for me, the biggest problems were the cliff-hanger ending and the fact that I felt too removed from the characters. I loved the premise and the settings. After 20 years of teaching about the Silk Road, I was excited to read a novel that is based on the caravan life. As a piece of historical fiction, it is very well-researched, and I appreciated the details about food, clothing, and geography. I didn't connect with the characters very well; the narration felt too remote. By that I mean it felt like the narrator was completely outside the story, telling me a story about things that happened to other people. I didn't feel like I was in the story with Johanna and Jaufre. I liked the basic plot but it needed to slow down, and build the tension more carefully. The surprise attacks were too out of the blue - a little foreshadowing would help. The ending was extremely abrupt, made more so because I was reading an ebook where it's much harder to be aware of how close to the end of the book you are. I will read the following installment because the plot's premise is interesting, and I do enjoy the author's ability to evoke setting.
View all my reviews