Sunday, September 9, 2012

Review: The Man from Pomegranate Street - Caroline Lawrence

The Man from Pomegranate Street by Caroline Lawrence
Series: The Roman Mysteries #17
Genre: Middle Grade, historical fiction, mystery
Published on July 1, 2009
Published by Orion
Pages: 262
Read From: 8.11.12 - 8.13.12

Cover Blurb: The wolf on the cover doesn’t make much sense until you start reading the story itself. I like the color backdrop, but out of the many covers, it’s just not my favorite. No particular reason; it just isn’t.

What I Liked: As always, I love Nubia’s character, and I liked how twisty-turny the mystery was. At times, I exclaimed in dismay when something was “revealed” because it, at first, seemed like a lame explanation. But then it turned out that that isn’t what happened at all, and this worked rather well.

What I Disliked: The romantic mix-ups between Flaccus and Flavia are way, way, way, way, way overdone at this point. I always found their misunderstandings tedious, but it is downright aggravating in this installment.

Believability: Caroline Lawrence always does her research, and she tied in the actual facts of Titus’s death very well into this mystery. I don’t go for “maybe it happened this way; maybe it didn’t” endings for mysteries, but I was okay with it in this instance.

Writing Style: It’s the same quality as usual; the dialogue is generally good, though sometimes the Author uses the “character asks convenient question so Reader can understand what’s going on” ploy way too much. It’s a very movie-ish style, all in all, but it works well enough for the series.

Content: Nothing actually happens, but molestation in a sexual sense and rape are quite often mentioned.

Conclusion: For the ending of a 17-book series, it felt kind of cobbled together, unsatisfying, and downright depressing. Everyone’s lives are wrapped up and shoved away, and poor Jonathan’s family doesn’t even ever know happiness. As a mystery, it was pretty good.

Recommended Audience: Historical fiction and mystery fans. This is one of the girly reads out of the series, and though this is intended for a younger audience, some of the content would keep me from recommending it to them.

Others in The Roman Mysteries:
1)The Thieves of Ostia
2)The Secrets of Vesuvius
3)The Pirates of Pompeii
4)The Assassins of Rome
5)The Dolphins of Laurentum
6)The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina
7)The Enemies of Jupiter
8)The Gladiators from Capua
9)The Colossus of Rhodes
10)The Fugitive from Corinth
11)The Sirens of Surrentum
12)The Charioteer of Delphi
13)The Slave-Girl from Jerusalem
14)The Beggar of Volubilis
15)The Scribes from Alexandria
16)The Prophet from Ephesus
17)The Man from Pomegranate Street

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