Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
(3.5) Sweet and mellow
on October 4, 2005
I think it was A.S. Byatt's _Possession_ that got me addicted to the historical-interest mysteries that are in vogue lately. I've come to really love the sort of book where people hunt around looking for ancient artifacts or long-lost manuscripts. So I couldn't resist picking up _The Seventh Unicorn_, which tells the story of a (fictional) seventh tapestry in the (real) "Lady and the Unicorn" series, and two former lovers who rekindle their romance while trying to preserve it.
This book is not bad at all. It is, however, a first novel, and there are two things about it that just didn't work for me. First, the male lead, Jake, doesn't appeal to me as much as he's supposed to. Even if he was having problems with his fiancee before running into his former lover, he would have at least spared his fiancee half a thought in the course of several hundred pages. Instead, she seems to vanish for about two-thirds of the book and is much less important to the story than she should be.
Second, the author was perhaps a bit too easy on the characters. I'm used to novels like this having some conflict--some cutthroat tactics, some suspense, at least some interpersonal tension. Instead, the denouement of this book seems to be a series of things falling too perfectly, too easily, into place. Characters I thought were menacing turned out to be merely gruff but well-meaning. Exes who should have been bitter, instead smile and nod magnanimously. And the Deep Dark Secret that underpins the story was too easily guessed. I think the prologue telegraphed far too much of the plot.
Again, this book was not bad at all, and I did like it. However, I think it needed some more conflict. It was just a bit too placid.