Mimi’s Review of Bury the Living by Jodi McIsaac
I’d like to thank Tasty Book Tours for letting be host Jodi McIsaac on the blog today, and I’d also like to extend my purrsonal thanks to 47North for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. To see all of the blogs participating in the tour, please kindly click on the banner above. =^.^=
This was an interesting read to what I feel is going to be a promising series. Blending historical fiction with fantasy, McIsaac’s book is one that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for something new to try and/or has an interest in Irish history and mythology. I certainly plan on reading the next book in the series when it becomes available.
Nora was a character whom I both liked and found annoying at times. While I could easily understand where she was coming from as a teenager at the start of the book, I felt at times that she was a bit too stubborn and angry as the story progressed. Despite this I enjoyed watching her character grow and I suspect that as the series continues she’ll become one of those character whom I’ll count amongst my favorites later on. She’s certainly strong-minded, willing to fight, and loyal, all of which are traits that I admire. I also have to applaud her focusing her energy on humanitarian aid missions in other countries.
While there may be those readers who would be put off by the focus on Irish history and politics within the story, I found it intriguing. Yes, I did feel that at times there was probably too much attention given to the political side of things, but I also felt that it needed to be discussed in order to fully understand both everything that was going on plot-wise and Nora’s character. Without the historical and political attention Nora would just come across as an angry teenager at the start of the book and any compassion that the reader would have for her would be minimal. Understanding the struggle and horror that was The Troubles, or the Irish Civil War is important for the success of the story. And yet, as I said there were times where I felt it was a tad overdone. It took too long to get to the heart of Nora’s story, which was why she is sent back in time, and that aggravated me greatly.
It isn’t until the last 25% of the book that we start to learn why Nora was really sent back in time, and this was when the book truly started to pick up for me. Prior to this I felt that the book dragged greatly because there was so much focus on the politics and history, and regardless of how interesting I found it to be, I wanted to experience more of Nora’s interactions with “Thomas” instead. There are so many questions that I have now about his character and I was disappointed that McIsaac didn’t delve much into his character. Here’s hoping that in the next book we’ll see and learn more of him.
Despite this one issue, I still enjoyed the story. I especially loved the Celtic mythology and hope that we get more of it as the series continues. And if I’m to be honest, as soon as I finished reading this book, I pulled out a few of my books on Celtic mythology to read up more on Brigid and learn more about Fionn mac Cumhaill. There’s nothing I love more than studying myths and legends from other cultures, so I must give McIsaac some purrs of appreciation for including these in her story.
Overall I feel that there is a little something for everyone in this book, and it certainly is a good start to a series that holds a lot of promise, so I would encourage readers to give it a try and discover for themselves what the story has to offer. And yes, I will be reading book two when it becomes available. No way would I miss an opportunity to read about Grace O’Malley, Ireland’s infamous Pirate Queen!
About the Author:
Jodi McIsaac is the author of several novels, including A Cure for Madness and the Thin Veil Series. She grew up in New Brunswick, on Canada’s east coast. After abandoning her Olympic speed skating dream, she wrote speeches for a politician, volunteered in a refugee camp, waited tables in Belfast, earned a couple of university degrees, and started a boutique copywriting agency. She loves running, geek culture, and whiskey.
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