Synopsis from Goodreads
Dr. Emily Norton is a recent med school grad starting her surgical residency at a renowned hospital in Baltimore. She’s dedicated her life to science and reason–so when she receives a supposedly magical amulet from an eccentric neighbor, she ignores the old man’s warning. Almost immediately, Emily’s well-planned world begins to unravel. At first, the problems are minor, like finding herself in trouble with the hospital administration on her first day at work. But soon Emily is dealing with much bigger issues, from losing her job and fiancé to being framed for a patient’s suicide. As Emily struggles to comprehend the amulet’s strange effects, she also faces a dilemma about coincidence and fate: none of these disasters could have been caused by a mere amulet, right? Because everyone knows: there’s no such thing as magic. Desperate and confused, Emily will need to use every bit of her reason, love and faith to confront and conquer the cursed amulet–even if it means forsaking everything she’s ever believed.
This book had a bad case of multiple-personality disorder! There was too much going on!
This book suffers from a terrible synopsis in my opinion. I just reviewed another book where a bad synopsis ruined the story for me (see The Lost Letters of William Woolf). With this book we have a synopsis that leads the reader to believe this will be a story about a magical amulet that can either give Emily all she desires or destroy her life. So I was expecting a book with a touch of magical realism, a hint of fairy tale, and perhaps even an element of parable with a good lesson learned about life. But instead this is what you get:
- A medical intern, Emily, learning to deal with her patients during a new residency.
- An entire story line dealing with LGBT issues.
- An entire story line about struggling with Christianity.
- Family drama galore! Emily dislikes her Dad. Emily misses her deceased Mom. Emily’s cousin has family drama. Emily’s roommate Norton has his own family drama! A weird neighbor with his own drama! Every character seemed to have this insane family dynamic that was just too much.
- A horrible (and graphic) suicide with an awful genesis.
- Emily dealing with her own medical issues.
- Over the top characters – particularly the roommate Norton. His temper tantrums were totally out of character and scary in my opinion.
- Oh, yeah, there was something about an amulet in there somewhere.
The amulet was not what this story was about – at least it wasn’t only what this story was about. The amulet was typically only mentioned, almost as an afterthought, at the end of each chapter. So, to me, the synopsis provided is misleading.
Nothing about this story felt organic or real to me except for the scenes with Emily in the hospital when she was dealing with her patients. The author is a doctor so it make sense that those scenes would be realistic. The rest of the book sadly felt contrived to me and a bit ridiculous if I am being honest.
I have no problem with a little suspension of belief for a good story, but everything in this one just ended up a little too tidy. There was too much going on for it to feel cohesive. Any one of the story lines I mentioned above, or even two or three of them, might have made for a much improved story. The book would have benefited from some editing in my opinion.
I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either. I will say that I actually liked the author’s writing style a lot. I would read another book by him based on his writing style alone. But as a whole, there were just too many themes crammed into this story for me to enjoy it fully.
I will always wonder if the synopsis was better if I would have enjoyed it more.
I rate my books as follows: 5 (I LOVED IT!), 4 (I really liked it), 3 (I liked it), 2 (It was just okay), and 1 (I didn’t like it at all). This book falls at a 2.5 for me; however, I don’t give half scores so I am rounding up to a 3.
Thank you NetGalley and Twin Rabbit Books for a free electronic ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Expected publication: January 8, 2019 by Twin Rabbit Books
My rating – 3 out of 5
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