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Review: Now Face to Face, by Karleen Koen

Now Face to Face was a novel that frustrated me in a lot of ways. For one thing, there were huge gaps in the story line. Something dramatic would happen, and then there would be a gap afterwards and we would never learn what the conclusion of the incident was. For example, Hyacinthe goes missing, and we learn hardly anything of what happens of him between the time he is captured and the time he returns home.

I felt that the characters in this book were not as well drawn as they were in Through a Glass Darkly. Although a woman in the sequel, Barbara's character is flat. Sure, she has this adventure in Virginia, only to return home in the middle of a mini-civil war, but she seems completely unaffected by what's happening around her. I found her story to be very unbelievable. There's no romance; the adventures in love that Barbara had as a younger woman are written off by the author as youthful indiscretions and completely out of character for Barbara.

I wanted to hear more about the Duke of Tamworth and his grandmother, the Duchess; but I was sadly disappointed. Tony seems selfish, mean-spirited and almost a different person in this book.

The historical background of this book (ie, the fight between the House of Orange and James Stuart the Pretender for control of the English throne) was dumbed-down almost to the point of absurdity. Although this book was well-written, the major flaws show through. Koen has set the stage in this book for a sequel but there's just not enough fictional material for it.

Also reviewed by: Jackets and Covers


Anonymous said…
I haven't read Now Face to Face or Through a Glass Darkly, but I now own Now Face to Face via Paperback Swap. {I didn't know it was a sequel.} My friend who recommended Now Face to Face to me had a similar reaction to it.
S. Krishna said…
I have these novels on my shelf waiting to be read - I'm sad that you didn't like this one too much!
Meghan said…
I liked Through a Glass Darkly, but I wasn't crazy about it. I keep hearing so-so things about the sequel, so I've done my best to stay away. Thanks for the review.

- medieval bookworm
Bybee said…
I was wondering if Barbara's mother shows up in the sequel. She was shocking, but also a hoot.
Anonymous said…
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