Sunday, November 13, 2011

Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Author John Ajvide Lindqvist

One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen channel. While they are exploring the lighthouse, Maja disappears – either into thin air or under thin ice -- leaving not even a footprint in the snow. Two years later, Anders, a broken man, moves back to his family’s abandoned home on the island. He soon realizes that Maja's disappearance is only one of many strange occurrences, and that his fellow islanders, including his own grandmother, know a lot more than they’re telling. As he digs deeper, Anders begins to unearth a dark and deadly secret at the heart of this small, seemingly placid town.

Review: Each character is provided with a backstory, so you're getting several stories within the story. This can work in character development, but in this particular book, the original plot is dragged under and seemingly lost. The twists are slow to develop and after 300+ pages I really needed more to happen. Perhaps, because the intent is horror and suspense, but I became rather bored and disinterested. The pacing, like the island, is isolating and distant. For me, it created a detachment with the plot and I had no problem putting the book down, but soon found it difficult to pick back up. The gap between current bizarre happenings and long back story fractured the experience, making reading choppy and awkward. Frankly, what should be intriguing became boring and uneventful. By the end, the pages themselves were killing me and I had little motivation to read on.
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* ARC provided by Thomas Dunne Books courtesy of Amazon Vine


  1. Great review. I find drag is deadly. Writing a good book is hard! <a href="” rel=”nofollow”> Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust</a>

  2. So unfortunate. Bad pacing can really ruin a story.

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