JANE & CARIN

In a short blurb? We talk books.

Book Review: The Ridge

The RidgeTitle: The Ridge
Author: Michael Koryta

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Description: In an isolated stretch of eastern Kentucky, on a hilltop known as Blade Ridge, stands a lighthouse that illuminates nothing but the surrounding woods. For years the lighthouse has been considered no more than an eccentric local landmark-until its builder is found dead at the top of the light, and his belongings reveal a troubling local history.

Review: This was the first Michael Koryta book that I picked up and it certainly won’t be the last. Within the first couple pages, Koryta caught my attention with a mysterious phone call that asked a very interesting question, “Which would you rather have: a homicide or a suicide?” That caught my attention to say the least. Koryta throws in a number of characters into this story and while it isn’t difficult to remember them all, there was a need for more background and development on a selected few. For example, it was hard to be invested in Jacqueline and Kevin’s relationship to one another when there was only an outline of how they came together. However, I enjoyed Audrey’s storyline as Koryta developed and transformed her from an insecure woman to one who knows what she is capable of. I like the idea of a mystery surrounding a death. To think that a death may not be what it seems and upon further investigation, there’s a supernatural mystery behind it? Naturally, I was bursting with curiosity. There were many times in the book where I thought I had it figured out only to be thwarted by the next page/chapter, it definitely threw me for a loop… though I would like to say that one of my theories were correct!

Consensus: I had a few issues with the character development in this book and I wanted more dimension from a number of them, however, Koryta’s story was captivating and kept me intrigued until the very end. He does a great job drawing the reader in and honestly, you won’t want to put down the book until it’s over. If you like mystery mixed with a supernatural feel, check out The Ridge.

Now onward to another Michael Koryta book, So Cold the River!
– Jane

Carin’s take: This was also my first Michael Koryta and I, too, was impressed. There was nothing particularly intriguing about his diction, but he’s a great story teller and he knows how to get the reader’s attention and hold it. The Ridge would get 4.5 out of 5 stars for can’t-put-down-ability, 3 out of 5 stars for diction, 4 out of 5 stars for creativity (not many thriller writers go the supernatural route while still avoiding sci-fi classification), but only a 2.5 out of 5 for strength of story. I wish he developed characters and motives a little more and made the ghost stories more comprehensible. But Koryta’s young, and I heard So Cold the River was a lot stronger, so I still have faith that he will be one of my favorite thriller writers.

Caution! Spoilers ahead! Notes & Observations from the intern book club —

  • We wanted more from the Jacqueline character.
  • Does anyone feel like Vesey was a Davy Jones? What’s going to happen to him?
  • Ira is basically a huge black cat, kind of like a watcher of the dead. He follows evil!
  • If Wyatt and Jacqueline took a life, why are they still bonded? How exactly does this “balance” thing work?
  • Did you notice that everyone is technically single in the book?
  • What do the “sparks” at the end signify?
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This entry was posted on July 25, 2011 by in Book Reviews, Fiction, Jane and tagged , , , , , , , .

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Words We Like

“I think it makes more sense to write what you don’t know. To write what makes you uneasy, what you wonder about, what keeps you awake at night."

— Lois Lowry, at the BEA Children’s Book and Author Breakfast

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