Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review - The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

 The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
St. Martin's Press
Publication Date:  June 23, 2015
Date Read:  June 16, 2015
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2 Stars

I am not really sure what I expected from this book but I finished it feeling rather disappointed and completely underwhelmed.  The story never quite pulled me in even though there were some sections that did catch my attention.  In the end, this is one of those books that I will probably forget quickly.  It wasn't a book that I hated but I didn't really like it either.  

This book is told in alternating timelines which I admit that I am not a fan of.   In the present time, Simon is a young librarian who receives a book that is believed to contain information regarding his family.  Simon spends much of his free time researching the book and trying to figure out a way to save his house which is about to fall into the ocean.  The past focuses on Amos, a mute child, who starts out being abandoned by his family and must fend for himself in the woods.  He stumbles upon a traveling circus and soon becomes a vital member of the group as he grows into adulthood.

One of the problems that I had with this book is that anytime something would become interesting in either timeline the book would immediately switch to the other period of time.  The two time periods were not as connected as I had hoped they would be which really interrupted the flow in my reading.  The pacing of the story felt really off and there just wasn't enough going on during a large part of the story.

The characters in this story felt flat and I had a hard time connecting with any of them.  With the exception of Enola and Doyle, the characters in the present time are B-O-R-I-N-G.  The characters in the past were more interesting but only slightly so.  The only characters that I actually liked in this book were Amos and Doyle.  Doyle's role in the story is rather minor but he was my favorite character in the book.  I thought Amos was interesting especially in the scenes before he joins the circus.  

There were parts of the book that I felt were stronger than others.  I thought that the conclusion to the story was well done.  This is not a feel good story and I found much of the book to be rather depressing.  I would not recommend this book but I can see what some people may see in this book.   I think that this just wasn't the right book for me.  

I received a copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.


  1. noted. will avoid this book if I see it :P

    1. I am sure that a lot of people will end up liking this one. It just wasn't a book for me.

  2. NO!!! This book is supposed to be wonderful because I love the premise and the cover so much. *Sigh* Oh well I guess every book can't be a winner.

    1. You may like this book even though I didn't enjoy it. I saw a lot of really good reviews for it on Goodreads. I think that cover is wonderful. The cover is actually what made me take a second look at this book.

  3. Such a shame that you couldn't like this one. It seems like there was just nothing to special about it or attention catching as you were reading. Books like that make me sad :/

    1. I was really disappointed with this one. I had such high hopes for it too. It seems like a lot of other people really liked it though. I do hate it when a book isn't what you had hoped it would be.


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