Cobweb Bride, by Vera Nazarian

I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley, to review on the behalf of the publisher. This book will be published 15 July 2013.

17727308I asked to review Vera Nazarian’s Cobweb Bride because the brief description provided by the publisher did it’s job and intrigued me. In the world Nazarian created, something has gone wrong with Death and no one can die. This might sound like a good thing, except that nothing else can die–not pigs or cows, not even plants. The only people enjoying the situation are the men and women who would have been dead, but find themselves moving around and talking anyway.

Cobweb Bride has three openings. One has a family gathered around the deathbed of their matriarch, but her death rattle never ends. Another has a similar scene playing out, but at a higher social rank. Then Nazarian takes us to a battlefield where men just keep getting back up, even after sustaining fatal head injuries and mortal wounds. Death appears to issue an ultimatum. Unless his Cobweb Bride appears, no one (and nothing) will die. The Emperor offers a reward to the women of his Realm if they will venture north to Death’s Keep.

The book is written in a style I’ve started to call fractured fairy tale. There are the trappings of fairy tales: knights and princesses (even if the princess in this case is one of the undead), quests and intrigue, psychopomps and witches. But there’s a sense of humor to the thing and the author plays around with the conventions of the story. Nothing happens quite the way you think it will. And that’s what makes it fun.

The only problem I had with the book was the dialog. At the beginning, the characters speak in a faux Medieval speak. But this is abandoned within a few chapters and becomes much more contemporary sounding. It bothered me until I let the story entertain me out of my annoyance. Also, I suspect that this book was the next thing to self-published. It needs an editor. I half wanted to take a red pen to my iPad and fix the typos myself. But Nazarian’s Cobweb Bride, the opening novel of a trilogy, shows that it’s possible to love a flawed book. I had a great time reading it (even if the dialog needs work) and I’m looking forward to seeing where Nazarian goes in the next entries.

I just hope she gets an editor.

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