by Charlie N. Holmberg (Goodreads Author)
It’s no secret: I’m a fan of Charlie N. Holmberg. From first picking up The Paper Magician on a whim via the Kindle First Reads program who knows how many years ago, I’ve loved her charming prose and inventive, magical stories.
Charming is, truly, the one word I use above all when describing any of Ms. Holmberg’s book — they just are! I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s the one word that always springs to mind, no matter how dark her tales may get at times.
And don’t get me wrong: they can stray into some dark territory. The Fifth Doll is no exception. Whether or not you can entirely predict where the story is going end as it twists and turns along, there’s no denying the dark undercurrents of much of certain characters’ actions, as well as the backdrop of the story when its most inner self is ultimately revealed.
If I have one critique of the novel it’s that it took a little while, for me, to get going. Just a bit longer than previous Holmberg novels, but probably not noticeable to anyone else. Once the story gets going, however, it moves at a steady pace, ebbing and flowing as the actions of the characters dictate.
It was an easy one-sitting read and one that I recommend to anyone who wants a slightly-darker-than-most tale of magic, of knowing one’s most inner self, and of making difficult choices when it comes to the truth.