Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Anatomist's Apprentice
After reading book after book of the mindless, fluffy genre, I told myself that I had to start reading stories with more substance. While I certainly wouldn't categorize The Anatomist's Apprentice as classic literature, it was at least more plot driven and less cheesy romance centered than most of my recent conquers. It also took me forever to finish listening to. I know at least in part it was due to the reader, but it also had a good chunk to do with the book itself. It dragged on and on, and while the plot was ingenious and unexpected, it had so many twists that by the end, I just didn't care anymore. The final reveal was 'meh' for me, as I hadn't been invested in a while.
The characters were... restrained at best. While I understand that propriety was key in the time period, the very essence of the characters involved were nonexistent. Other than being meek and pathetic, the main love interest, Lydia, was utterly devoid of any qualities. She was such a brief sketch of a person that I couldn't even remember her name ten minutes after finishing the book. Thomas Silkstone is only saved by this fate by being perceptive, dedicated, and damsel-in-distress-obsessed. He was really incredibly flat as well. There was very little spark to anyone, which was a real disappointment when you have a long book like this.
Unfortunately, do to that obsession with damsels in distress, the majority of the book resembled the Dudley Do-right comic from Rocky and Bullwinkle. I couldn't seem to make myself care about "poor Lydia".
The book wasn't entirely bad, however. During the scenes not involving villains and love interests, I listened with rapt attention. Like I mentioned before, the overall plot arc was absolutely fabulous, and had great twists and turns. If the author had managed to write her characters as well as she crafted a mystery, I would have been hopelessly in love with this book. I understand that this is the beginning of the series. While I certainly won't be on the lookout for this book, I would definitely take a peek at the next book if I come across it, if only for the plot.