Monday, October 17, 2011

A Death For Beauty Or, An Immortal by Alberto Rios Arias

A Death For Beauty Or, An Immortal is an historical fiction.

Virginia Mae Mercy has suffered her fair share of hardships, the murder of her husband, the still born deaths of three of her children, and a daughter, Triste, who is mentally challenged.

The year is 1863 and life is hard for everyone and after the death of her twin sons, Ginny decides to move her daughter and herself to Idaho, away from their ancestral lands to a hostile land to begin a new life.  She doesn't want any reminders of her depressing past whispering to her of what could have been.

Triste, which means sad, has a natural ability with animals and her gift allows her to do incredible feats with them.  She has a loyal friend in her dog, Rusty, who would defend her to death.  They are inseparable and Triste wishes they didn't have to move, she is frightened of what the future may hold.

The two meet up with Clayton Fraquhar, Sissy and Reverend Thorpe who form a wagon train in order to cross the countryside, however, before they arrive at their destination, they are captured by hostile Indians.  As the party fights for their survival, and Triste and Virginia become separated, you cannot help but wonder, who is going to make it home alive.

I liked the character of Virginia, her mother and Triste.  I thought they were enjoyable to read and I liked how the author differentiated the dialogue with the characters, giving them different impediments and inflections.  However, I thought the dialogue appeared forced and non-relevant at times.  I found the focus was often fleeting and the reader was left reading a collection of ideas without any substance or form.

I enjoyed the intrigue and there were certain descriptive aspects of the story that were well written, but the consistency was lacking in the overall flow of the plot.  At times I found it to be disjointed, almost as if the author wasn't sure where he wanted to take the story.  For the longest time I thought the story was going to be about Triste and her gift and was upset to learn that it wasn't the premise of the story.  The outcome left me without any real resolve to the dilemmas that appeared to each of the characters.  I never got a clear understanding of Virginia's antagonism over her husband's death, nor was it properly explained why she was leaving her ancestral home.

I thought the ending was poetic in an ironic and sadly twisted way, as is the whole story now that I think about it.  All in all, it wasn't a bad read, just felt it could've used some tighter dialogue and plot organization.

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!! **