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In the young New Netherlands colony, orphans are disappearing. The evidence recovered suggests some may have even been partially eaten. The leading theory is a Native American beast who consumes children. Terrifying an entire community, but irrevocably changing the town’s Orphanmaster, a she-merchant and an English spy hunting fugitives.
For such a dark story, I was surprised at how well it was researched. In fact some of the chapters open with headlines. You get a good sense of the politics, social protocol and economic feel of the time period. You can’t help but come away with a better understanding of the origins of Manhattan.
-The story is gruesome throughout
-The story’s romance is contrived. It feels sort of forced amongst the rest of the subject matter.
- There are also many narrators telling the story. They are all pretty roughly sketched (but eerily memorable). The collective tells the story of the colony and it’s time more than any one character. The timeline isn’t fluid either. At times this ensures the reader is lost, and that the author may even be employing the confusion.
So it’s not for everyone. But if you keep to it, the novel really picks up momentum towards the end of the story and even becomes focused.
The novel’s narrator George Guidall was perfect. He reads the entire novel as if he’s voicing over a movie trailer. I will definitely be on the lookout for more performances from him.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Based on the other reviews of this novel, this audio book may or may not be for you. I enjoyed it. George Guidall is an excellent actor (I believe the term "narrator" is too limiting for a person who acts the many characters of a given book. Try Charles Dickens for example). This story of early Manhattan, the struggle between the Dutch and English, the love between two unlikely people, an English spy and a strong female trader, the clash of cultures among native Americans, the Dutch colonists, the local authorities and restrictive religion and most of all the degrading and deplorable life and death of young orphans make for a rich story.
Yes, there are some gruesome scenes but that's hardly different from your regular TV programming.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful