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Lost Mission: A Novel

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Athol Dickson

What haunting legacy awaits deep beneath the barrios and wealthy enclaves of Southern California?An idyllic Spanish mission collapses in the eighteenth century atop the supernatural evidence of a shocking crime. Twelve generations later the ground is … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Athol Dickson
Publisher: Howard Books
1 review about Lost Mission: A Novel

My First Athol Dickson Novel but Not My Last

  • Nov 28, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
I really wanted to read this novel. I've not read Athol Dickson before but had heard great things about him. When a review copy was offered to me, I jumped on it. But then the book came and I read the back cover. "Hmmm." I thought. "Well, I'll get to it eventually." And then I set the book down. The subject did not appeal. But then came the blog tour and I needed to be able to say something about the book. So I opened it.

Two strikes right away. One is the omniscient tone of the story. For some reason that's my least favorite point of view. Second was the abundance of names within the first few pages. I have trouble keeping track of too many characters and too soon into a book and I'm annoyed.

Then I got into the story and wow, this man can write. The praise and awards are well-deserved.

The story is two distinct yet similar stories unfolding in the same location, two centuries apart. Two characters choose to love the lost at the cost of their own moral compass, two characters choose love of laws and rules over loving people, and two characters struggle with caring deeply about the events unfolding and feeling helpless to do anything about those events.

Changing centuries threw me the first chapter but then it became more clever and clearer and the omniscient point of view added greatly to the seamless weaving of events. The characters were all important and as I read Dickson made sure that I knew enough about them that they became easy to remember and know. So much for my complaints. From there it's just a great, thought-provoking read. And challenging. I saw myself in each of the characters. Not necessarily a positive thing and it required me to face some of the issues in my life and how I might need to tweak my thinking a bit. Did I mention it's fascinating as well? An outbreak of some horrific disease/plague (assuming it was small pox) decimates as does fire. Dickson is an artist with words and characters. I've not read such fresh prose in quite awhile.

I'm recommending it to anyone. However, don't expect to be untouched by the story. It's not an easy one to read or digest. And it's not a mindless beach read either. Action lovers could struggle with the slower pace. Literary lovers should put it on their Christmas list.

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