The Raven – The Story Behind This Review
Last spring, I came across a can’t-put-it-down thriller called Annabel Lee from an author named Mike Nappa that I thought my husband would also enjoy – so, when he recently came to me looking for book recommendations and I gave him a handful of novels to choose from, I wasn’t surprised when Mike’s novel surfaced at the top of his reading list.
I was surprised, however, when – barely a chapter into the book – my hard-to-please husband returned asking me to find out when Mike Nappa’s next book would be released because he wanted to be among the first to read it.
Well – since nothing makes me happier than granting my loved one’s wishes – I immediately got online and discovered that The Raven – the next standalone book in the Coffey & Hill Novel Series had just been released – so I surprised him with a copy and he’s been happily devouring this book all month!
So – here is his review – along with a request to make sure I get him next Mike Nappa novel when it’s released!
The Raven by Mike Nappa – Book Review
My daddy used to tell me the best way to stay out of trouble was to think about tomorrow before you act today…
Of course he was right. Pops generally gave good advice – it was kind of his job, after all.
And of course, I mostly ignored him. I figured that was my job.
– Mike Nappa, The Raven
In 1845, Edgar Allen Poe published a poem entitled The Raven; 171 years later, Mike Nappa published a book by the same title.
In The Raven – the second book in the Coffey and Hill series – Mike tells the story of a very different kind of raven than the one found in Poe’s poem. In his book, Mike writes of a street illusionist and petty criminal who – through poor judgement and worse luck – finds himself in the midst of a terror plot code named Nevermore.
If you are familiar with Poe’s work, you’ll recognize the symmetry as elements from Poe’s original poem are referenced numerous times throughout Mike’s book.
The Raven is a well written and thoroughly engaging work of fiction worthy of both praise and attention. While the Raven, the aforementioned illusionist is the locus around which the story is told in the same way Annabel Lee is the locus in the previous Nappa book of the same name (the symmetry continues), both Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill resurrect their roles as private investigator and detective – this time assigned to investigate the Nevermore plot. While this may sound somewhat tedious and uninspired, in actuality, nothing could be further from the truth!
Anyone can tell a story, but most can’t do it consistently and few do it truly well. Mike Nappa excels at story-telling. While plot is important in a story, it is character development that builds a person’s attachment to that plot; without attachment , no one really cares what happens in the plot. Why root for a petty thief? Why care about a cheating ex-husband?
Well, we do care. Mike makes us care about the most seemingly unlikable of characters simply because of the artistry he displays when he tells a story.
The plot of The Raven will surprise you. For most of the book, you will be wondering what is Nevermore and where can I get a copy of Poe’s original poem to try to understand how this Raven correlates to the original raven. Truth be told, it didn’t help me much – I just found Poe creepy!
The Raven is constructed in a similar fashion to Annabel Lee, with the story beginning in one place in time – than the story going back in time to reconstruct the events that lead up to the present. While that format worked quite well in Annabel Lee, it didn’t work as well here – I had a hard time connecting the opening scene with the rest of the story. Once I got into the heart of the story, however, I found that the author’s technique of telling the story from various points of view in overlapping timelines most engaging.
If you like original suspense novels and thrillers that do not follow the typical cookie-cutter formula that so many authors do, then The Raven is for you!
I am looking forward to the next book in this series with much anticipation.
I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
About Mike Nappa
Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at FamilyFans.com, as well as a bestselling and award-winning author with more than one million books sold worldwide. When he was a kid, the stories of Edgar Allan Poe scared him silly. Today he owns everything Poe ever wrote. A former fiction acquisitions editor, Mike earned his MA in English literature and now writes full time.
For More Information
- Read an Excerpt from The Raven at Baker Publishing.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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