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Posted August 31, 2013
What an Outrageous, Fierce, Brutal, Merciless and Aggressive Historic Novel, "Eclipse of the Midnight Sun" turned out to be...
The Novel is narrated by the mouth of Aged Finn to a young New York's Reporter around 19th century. Basically, the story takes place way back in mid 18th century (around 1750s) era, where tons of senseless wars were fought all over the world.
A dark time, where life is cheaper than water and death stands just next door.
Finn who resides with his beloved single mother in the green lands of Europe is illiterate, although he happily lived with his people and his love of life. Dark time strikes suddenly when his innocence faces a great despair and complete turmoil, One day when the Russians invade and attack his town. The Russians fiercely kill his family and molest his people to turn few into slaves and slaughter the remaining.
His house is wrecked and he's forced to run away into the woods to escape the offense and fend his life from the chasing soldiers.
His love betrays him and his people are dead which only leaves Finn with tremendous rage and smolder.
Further the journey continues as he survives all the odds, valors in danger, meets new people in his adventure, engages in countless wars and fights the biggest catastrophe of his life.
(Won't give much of the spoilers away....Discover yourself).
Out there he travels treacherous lands through woods, sea and alleys of dark places and meets countless characters (very difficult to even remember names of half of them), indulges in several gory and surprisingly survives every time.
Author Timothy made great research regarding each and every aspect of the novel ranging from The plot to the names of character, language, landscape and geography.
His great efforts do reflect and shine brightly through out the novel and paint a perfect portrait of the events and battles or the erotic encounters taking place. For me, it was more as if watching a high frame rate movie as opposed to reading a book. It was a charm to imagine every bit of detail in landscape, scenes, battle and minute details as Mr. Kestrel really knows the art of being descriptive in his writing. I felt as if I'm right in the middle of the battle field, and arrows and muskets are flashing around me, bullets missing me by millimeters, splotchy enough to to experience as a third person.
There were many of the explicit and erotic encounter Finn jumps in and every time I think he'll settle for a girl, some catastrophe would strike and he'd miss her.
This is almost 400 pages novel with only 5 chapters (almost each chapter is about 100 pages) with just page turning adventure and never ending text.
This is fully an action packed novel BUT with the most harsh, aggressive, violent and explicit language which certainly reflects and redraws the readers into the 1750s.
Although, the language is STRICTLY not for the weak hearted, If you are OK with such an explicit, IN YOUR FACE language, then you may find the novel beautifully written capturing conscious as well as subconscious verbal smolders of the assassins and rangers.
It's practically impossible to remember such a long story back in your head, with every event, plot, time line, character names. It is insanely difficult to put all together in such a tight groove.
I'm astonished, amazed and surprised if Timothy runs on a Intel i7 chip and 100TB storage in his head as opposed to a normal brain?
Sir Timothy, If you read this, SALUTE!!!
Posted April 22, 2013
For some odd reason I couldn't connect with characters at all. The only characters I ended up liking were Caterina Brett, and the old Finn who was telling the story, and I also enjoyed the fascinating facts he tells about Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. I had trouble connecting with the young Finn and other characters as well. I would guess the characters for me were more of a tell rather than show variety when it came to expressing emotions. I also had trouble believing the chemistry between Finn and Rosie and so forth. It seemed very last minute in my view, and I sensed no build up.
This is written in third person narrative from omniscient point of view. At times I had trouble understanding the narrative because it tended to jump back and forth between multiple characters and the part where he meets his companions happens in the last quarter of the book. One of the things I liked is that a slave actually taught Finn how to read and write and count, which is an interesting twist I admit, but some things weren't explained well; how did people from Finland keep track of things if they didn't count? What of reading? What was going on in Europe at the time Hessians attacked Finland? Why doesn't Finn send a telegram to Rosie letting her know he's safe and telling her to move on? How did Finn live in England and barely survived on almost no English language?
This book does have the hallmarks of me liking it: history, vivid nature descriptions, famous personages such as Ben Franklin and Robert Rogers make appearances. It also takes place in 1750s, and I enjoy reading historical books before 1800s began. A lot of things in the book didn't work for me, I have to admit. What did work were the vivid scenery descriptions, the portrayal of life in Finland area during 1700s and the way American frontier was portrayed, the lawlessness before civilizing influences began. Here are also interesting characters such as Gus, Johan Kopf and Marcus Fronto, at least they had potential of being interesting. In other words, the author doesn't sugarcoat the reality of what the frontier was like which is something I liked, and I loved the scenes between Henry Raymond and Finn. However, what I didn't enjoy was lack of time while reading the book, and if that's Finn telling the story to Henry Raymond, then he's about 120 years old; not really feasible during that time, which is where years would have helped, and it did drive me crazy. The characters, unfortunately, struck me as sort of a cardboard type. The author needs to focus more on how to create fascinating characters that can grab people. I also wanted to point out a few things; the character of Daniel Nimham speaks like a Native American from Peter Pan, in other words a stereotypical Native American character when in fact Native Americans didn't speak stereotypically. Also, the scene where Johan goes to a Chinese brothel and mention of opium, that happened during late 1800s, not late 1700s...there might have been some Asians in America, but I doubt they had an opium den in 1700s. I also think that some women will take an offense at the way most of the women were portrayed in the book. Even if its part accurate, unfortunately, women are used to reading novels and books about strong and indomitable women heroines, and when only one woman is kind of portrayed in such a way, while others are accepting, it's not a really good situation.