Monday, June 30, 2008

Book Review: Arthurian Omen by G.G. Vandagriff

The Arthurian Omen by G. G. Vandagriff

Maren receives an excited call from her estranged sister Rachel, who claims that she had found the clue for the location of an ancient manuscript that reveals the true identity of King Arthur. She arranges for her daughter to be taken care of and heads off to England to join her Celtic obsessed sister on a treasure hunt. Maren is greeted at Oxford not by her charming sister, but by the scene of her murder. Maren is determined to find the manuscript and the man behind her sister’s death. She follows a trail of clues through the beautiful Welch countryside, scouting out castles, and monasteries, and potential murder suspects. Maren discovers that she is likely being stocked by a psychopath who thinks that he will lead a Welch Revolution, and wants the manuscript as evidence of King Arthur’s spirit backing him.

I was immediately enchanted by the concept of this book, and was really excited to pick it up. The book has a few flaws, but ultimately is worth reading. The main weakness of the book is the first beginning chapters. They are way too rushed, awkward and forced, really quite terrible. I was almost ready to put the book down and be very depressed that such a cool idea had such terrible execution. Then around chapter nine or so the story starts to gain correct rhythm and pace, and flows beautifully to the finish. I really don’t know how the first part of the book is so terrible when the rest of the manuscript works so well. Seriously, though, this is an awesome book. There are so many insane plot threads, that makes it fun and entertaining to read. There’s a delightful surprise ending, that the author was brilliant at executing. I thought I had guessed the entire plot only to discover I had been tricked. I guess sometimes the author does get moralistic in her telling of the story, though she hides it well through characters just discussing Arthurian themes, but I know that some readers dislike that type of writing. It wasn’t overwhelming, and it didn’t bother me personally, but you might want to be something you know about before you pick up the book. I recommend that you give this book a chance despite the weaknesses. I think ultimately you’ll enjoy it.

G.G. Vandagriff’s Website: Visit the Wales tab to see pictures and information on the castles historical sites in the book.
Arthurian Omen Website:


Joyce DiPastena said...

Hi Gamila,

I think you're right about the opening chapters of the book. It probably would have helped to have given us a little more time to bond with the main characters (especially the heroine), before lunging headlong into the adventure.

I quite enjoyed your review and appreciate your additional insights. All in all, I agree, Omen was well worth the fun of reading!

Jennie said...

Nice review. The book is compelling even though there are easily recognizable flaws. You might be interested to know there is a reason the first chapters seem to almost be written by a different person than the one who wrote the concluding chapters. G.G. was terribly ill for many years and when she finally recovered, she had no memory of even writing the book she found in her files. Those first chapters are pretty much as she wrote them before her illness while the later chapters were written later from the notes and rough draft she found.

Karlene said...

I have almost bought this book several times. Thanks for the review. I think you may have convinced me.

Gamila said...

Jennie-Ah, that's right. I do remember that story. I guess I never put two and two together. I suppose then it is interesting to see how the author has grown as a writer, and even more amazing that her skill remained with her through out the illness.

Karlene-it really is a fun and exciting read.