Posted on September 23, 2010 by Monica Valentinelli
Available at Amazon.com
Terry Goodkind is one fantasy author that I’m all-too-familiar with. I’ve watched THE LEGEND OF THE SEEKER series and have read most of his books about Richard Rahl and the rest of the characters. So, when given the opportunity to read THE LAW OF NINES, I was curious to see what Goodkind would do with a modern tale.
THE LAW OF NINES is fascinating to me in a lot of ways, because this wasn’t a story that I had expected to read. For starters, this is a lot grittier and darker than some of his other books because it is set in our world – a world with no magic. Although strange things do happen, Goodkind’s emphasis is on the “cost” of how characters might react to these reality-bending occurrences. The results, while not pretty, are wholly believable and help maintain great tension throughout most of the book. Even though some of these elements are scenes we have seen before (e.g. the asylum), Goodkind offers his own twist which plays with our expectations.
While the tension was excellent overall, it did break for me after I read a particular passage, which was meant to be a surprise for his fans. (If I tell you what the surprise is, then you will be mad at me, so I’m not going to spoil it for you.) I thought the surprise was pretty gutsy on Goodkind’s part, because it was a nice little easter egg for people who are familiar with his work. In a way, though, the easter egg emotionally removed me from the story long enough for me to have a different impression of the book than if I had never read any of his stories before.
My main draw to the story was Alex’s character rather than Jax, because it was interesting to see how his character dealt with the growing realization that something (or someone) was pursuing him for a mysterious reason he had yet to explore. There were a few moments of “oh-my-stars-will-that-really-happen” as well as enough hints of romantic possibilities between the two characters that I was hooked. The primary draw for me, though, was the writing. I’m an avid reader who can literally consume a book in as little as a few hours; I read THE LAW OF NINES in one sitting. It was, in a word, seamless.
Fast-paced and full of twists and turns, I feel that those who enjoy a modern thriller a la Stephen King or Bentley Little would really enjoy this dark-yet-fantastic tale. To tell you any more, even if I were to explain what THE LAW OF NINES actually means or delve into some of the other characters, would be to ruin the story for you. Instead, I will say that I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone that enjoys a modern, fast-paced thriller.
Review by Monica Valentinelli