The String Diaries has been likened to The Historian and A Discovery of Witches and for once I would agree; this book definitely falls into the same pot as the thriller of the family. If you like a mix of academia, urban fantasy and historical fiction, it’s well worth a read. I would say it is faster paced and a bit more action packed than the other two, despite jumping back and forth in time.
Although there are multiple timelines, it is essentially the story of one man’s impact on a family, across generations, starting in 19th century Hungary. Hosszú életek literally translates into “long life” and after a bit of googling, I think it is a made up mythology rooted in enough elements of Hungarian folklore to be believable. Jakab’s story shows how evil can be made; I don’t think he was born evil, just that his circumstances and actions snowballed into something else. It’s an interesting take to show his current day damage alongside his evolution.
One grumble is that it started to get a bit repetitive. I know, the whole point is that the same thing happens again and again, which reinforces Hannah’s panic and the impossibility of escape, but every time someone appear saying one thing, my mind instantly went, well that’s got to be Jakob. I was also a bit disappointed in the ending, thought it was a bit of a cop out when it could have been quite powerful.
The String Diaries is published by Headline and is out now in hardback and ebook formats. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review. I also have a spare copy I'd like to give away to one of you, so scroll down to the rafflecopter to enter (UK only I'm afraid).
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Also reviewed @ The Little Reader Library
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.