Thursday, May 01, 2008

book review: skizzer

I love books that hold my attention from the get-go and that I can read in a day. Skizzer, the debut novel by author A.J. Kiesling, is just such a book.

From time to time I get offers to review books, and honestly, I don't say yes all that often. But it was A. J. Kiesling's bio that changed my answer from no to yes:

A.J. (Angie) Kiesling grew up loving trees and words--trees because they formed the natural backdrop and playground for her childhood years in rural North Carolina, and words because they captivated her from as far back as she can remember. When she wasn't romping through the woods with her siblings, she might be found with her nose in a book--or lost among the shelves at the local library.

I related to every bit of that ... except that my woods were in Washington, not North Carolina. And when I found out that the location of her mystery was set partly in England (where I'm headed for the first time this fall), I was even more anxious to read the book.

I liked the author's easy style and her descriptions. She's great at filling in the blanks in such a way that you find yourself right there in the scene, hearing the approach of footsteps or smelling the mustiness of old books in a office long used by scribes. The storyline was compelling, and though in places I couldn't suspend my disbelief, it didn't mar my enjoyment. The book held me until the end.

About Skizzer: After receiving news of her sister Becca's abrupt disappearance, Claire Trowling must piece together the shadowy remnants of a past she's long forgotten in order to find her. A cryptic note scrawled in Becca's handwriting leaves more questions than it answers. When a stack of mysterious letters bound by a rare necklace is found, Claire races to discover the secrets that hold her family captive. Suspenseful and full of intrigue, Skizzer takes you on a transcontinental hunt for answers, weaving seamlessly between the distant past of childhood and the urgency of the present.

"This debut novel from Kiesling is a quick and engaging read with plot revelations meted out skillfully enough to keep the pages turning.... [The book has] an adventurous story, a compelling protagonist and thoughtful musings on the real meaning of sisterhood." -Publishers Weekly

And as always, there's a contest ....

Win a gift certificate for $40 to the restaurant of your choice by clicking over to the blog tour post and leave a comment answering this question:

What's the Most Important Thing You've Ever Lost and Then Found?

A.J. Kiesling will select the winning response based on originality and sizzle.


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