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  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    Different

    Himself is the first book by Jess Kidd so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a book that is hard to quantify. This is a standalone with no cliffhanger. There is violence and magical influences including a lot of ghosts. The book blurb adequately describes the storyline so I'm not going to repeat all of that info here. The author did a good job of explaining Mahony's background, why he came to the village, and eventually the story of his mother. There is a lot of history and secrets between characters in the storyline that keep you guessing what twists and turns will be revealed next. While overall the storyline was okay, I found it difficult to follow. The chapters kept going back and forth between the 1950s and 1970s. I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters in the village, and which ones were alive and which ones were the ghosts. I don't usually judge an author by just one book, and I won't with Jess Kidd. I just hope the next book is easier for me to follow the storyline. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and chose to review it for other readers.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Impessive Debut Novel

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. This certainly was an unusual book, which I enjoyed immensely. It’s a tale set in the little Irish village of Mulderrig with a cast of oddball characters. It’s 1976, and the charming Mahony comes to town in search of his mother, who abandoned him at an orphanage 26 years earlier. Or did she? It appears foul play may have been behind his abandonment, and the small village has mixed feelings about his arrival. The poetic writing style pulled me in at the beginning, with Kidd’s description of the town: For Mulderrig is a place like no other. Here the colors are a little bit brighter and the sky is a little bit wider. Here the trees are as old as the mountains and a clear river runs into the sea. People are born to live and stay and die here. They don’t want to go. Why would they when all the roads that lead to Mulderrig are downhill so that leaving is uphill all the way? The tale is a blend of sleuthing, paranormal activities, humor and, of course, a love interest for Himself. While this is Irish storytelling at its best, it is overall a dark tale of violence and some gruesomeness, but perfectly blended with humor and whimsy. Mahony sees ghosts and, like I said, some images are gruesome. Yet there is Johnnie, the ghost who never leaves the side of his love, and kisses her cheek softly. The characters are so well-developed (even the ghosts), they come to life with each turn of the page. I was impressed by this debut novel, and recommend it highly. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book this good. Be forewarned, this is one you really can’t put down once you start!
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