Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Book Review | The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

The Blackbird Season is a thriller novel by Kate Moretti.

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

Known for novels featuring “great pacing and true surprises” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and “nerve-shattering suspense” (Heather Gudenkauf, New York Time bestselling author), New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

Told from the alternating points of view of Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.

Why do characters have to be so unlikable in psychological thrillers? These were probably my least favorite psychological thriller characters ever. I almost put this down - I almost put the entire genre down - but I decided to carry on and see what kind of pay out would happen.

There were some positives. I thought the multiple points of view were handled well especially since there were four different perspectives. One of the characters was a mom to an autistic boy. I didn't like her, but I appreciated the dynamics there. I enjoyed the writing and the atmosphere in The Blackbird Season.

The biggest issue for me was obviously the characters. I know I've been harping on unlikable characters lately, but my issue goes beyond the characters just being unlikable. Some of the best characters I've come across this year have been absolutely hideous, but I was given reasons to care about them. That's the difference. In books like The Blackbird Season, we are given awful characters that are just that: awful.

This wasn't a hit for me, but I would read another Kate Moretti novel. I feel like The Blackbird Season was following a definite trend with the current thrillers, and I'm starting to have my fill of them.

The Blackbird Season isn't going to be one of the books I recommend to folks looking for a thriller. There's a lot of small town drama that may appeal to some readers, but I prefer to have an emotional stake in the outcome rather than being a bystander.

4/10: Not My Thing

Review copy provided by publisher

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18 comments:

  1. Ugh! What's with this trend? I need a likeable character. At least one.

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  2. Oof, I was actually looking forward to this. Still hoping to start it soon, because the premise just sounds so delicious - but yes, all characters in psychological thrillers seem to be very unlikable! I've already braced myself for that :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Hopefully you will connect with it more than I did. :)

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  3. I just finished this one! And yes lol these characters... had problems. And what killed the birds??? Ha ha

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    1. You mean you want to know what killed the starlings in a book called the blackbird season? You ask too many questions, Greg. 😂

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  4. I honestly think authors are intentionally creating unlikable characters which seems to have taken off since Gone Girl. If there is a Gone Girl comparison on the cover or in a review, I usually stay away from a book until I at least hate more. It's sad this one wasn't so good because I actually have a copy -uuuggghhhh!

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    1. I agree with you 100%, Barb, that these characters are intentionally unlikable due to Gone Girl. I liked both Gone Girl and The Final Girls more than you did so you might be in trouble with this one. Maybe it will surprise you! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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  5. Dang! This one actually sounded pretty damn good but thanks for the heads up. I'll be passing for sure. :)

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  6. Hmmm...I'd been considering looking into this one. I have a hard time with unlikable characters, though. They're really deflating.

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    1. I hate to sway you entirely, but they are definitely unlikable.

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  7. Uck - it's difficult when you don't like the characters, at all. I agree, there are characters that are unlikable, yet you still care and want to read about them. Sometimes, though, they just stink. I owe a review on this and plan to get to it soon. Lol. I'm curious now to read it!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear your curious! It may not be so bad for you. I look forward to your thoughts on it. :)

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  8. I'm getting really tired of unlikeable characters too!!

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  9. I feel as if I'm always complaining about characters in my book reviews too. Horrible MCs make it so much harder to connect to the story and I DNF a lot of them.

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    1. I almost DNF'ed this one. It does make it harder to connect with the story when I don't like the characters.

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