Northern Lights

Northern Lights - Nora Roberts Ugh. This book gave me a raging headache. I don't remember who half the characters were and couldn't remember them while reading. There were just too many of them. Lots of time spent in awe of the snowy mountains. I mean, this is a busy book. Lots of things are happening. The repeated descriptions of the scenery weren't necessary. The repeated descriptions of depression weren't necessary. Damn near half the conversations weren't even necessary.

The reason this gets three stars instead of two: I was wrong about the villain. Nora Roberts made a concentrated effort to make the reader focus on one particular character - he totally seemed like the villain and I almost DNF'd it because I was like "Oh come on, it's gotta be him!" But it wasn't. It was probably the last person I would have expected aside from the little old lady or children. So yeah, that was a shocker and I really liked being surprised.

On the other hand, we never get any explanation as to why the original murder happened. We get, via old journal entries, a jist of the fight that resulted in murder... but once they caught the guy, we should have gotten his explanation aside from "Oh em gee, it was self-defense, you have to believe me!" In the journal entry, the victim writes about how the villain is jealous of him, wants his woman, etc. But after the murder, the villain never made any play for the victim's woman. Maybe it wasn't as important as the journal entry implied, but that argument and jealousy is what focuses the reader on a specific, though wrong, character. I wanted to know the villain's side of things. Though maybe it was all about money in the end, it seemed like it was about jealousy.

Anyway, there was too much going on, too many characters, too much superfluous descriptions of scenery. It dragged on forever. Took me 10 hours to finish, reading nearly nonstop. Too. Damn. Long.

Nora Roberts is a fabulous writer, but a few of her books I've read recently are needlessly long and border on tedious.

(I just checked - this has to be one of her longer books... 637 pages. Obviously I need to check these things before starting a book at 6pm.)