Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

The River at NightThe River at Night by Erica Ferencik
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have really struggled with rating this book. In some ways it was a 4 and in others a 3 but, ultimately, I think it leans more to a 3. The book really has two focuses – one on the women who are on this trip and one once they begin their trip down the river. It’s essentially the story of a vacation gone badly and how it affects each woman. The author did an excellent job of setting the stage – the location and it being remote was quite well described. I felt like the river was a key part of the story.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. I never felt they were truly unpacked which meant I didn’t really understand who they were and how they were friends. The background was very thin. I wish I’d known them more and understood their connections a bit more. I ultimately felt that they were each a cardboard copy of characters – no depth, no realness. I think the story would have been served well with a little more character development.

The adventure itself was effective. The difficulties experienced by those on this trip came alive on the page for me. At times, I felt that I was there in the water with them. But, that wasn’t something that I felt was effective much beyond the ‘big’ accident that causes the entire adventure. I was hoping for more excitement and more of a sense of danger and foreboding. It just felt a bit anti-climactic to me. I was wishing there was more. More danger, more intensity, more fear. It just didn’t pan out for me.

And so this is one that I doubt will stay with me for long. If you have a big interest in rafting adventures, this might be a good fit. But, I’d recommend staying focused on that and not expecting much in terms of character development. I wish it had delivered the high-stakes drama that it promised in the descriptions. It was good but definitely not great!

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