A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Selected as the Theme of the Month for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club, I really didn't think that I would like this book much and was mentally prepared to put it aside; fortunately, it was short and actually quite fun (that pleasant surprise was worth an extra star here). Although the story brings together many of the Victorian horror villains (similar to "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"), the true protagonists were really their animal companions as they 'traded' clues about this ultimate game within a diary or journal style narration. The fun was in trying to match up who everybody was with where they fit in the game while at the same time trying to figure out the rules of the game itself ... Suspension of Disbelief really is your friend here; you really need to be able to relax and let go a fair amount of rational thinking to truly enjoy it.
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My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.