Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Two Graves - Zoe Kalo



                I am a fan of Zoe Kalo’s work so when I was given the chance to read her new novella, Two Graves, I jumped at it and within the first few pages I was hooked. Ms. Kalo draws the reader in with a masquerade party, of sorts, and a main character secretly following another party-goer who is either her prey or himself up to no good. By the next chapter, we flash back seven years to find out a bit more about the main character, Anjelica, and her troubled past. This is the type of story where the author is going to keep the reader in the dark until the very end and, usually, I love these kinds of stories. However, to keep the reader’s attention, enough tidbits need to be given out to keep the reader wanting to turn the pages. For me, the story became too confusing by places and by the end I still wasn’t sure if I had things figured out correctly. All of the elements are there to make this a great story. The setting for the present is a mysterious and richly described masquerade party. The past is gritty and ugly which establishes the character of Anjelica as the tough, no nonsense type of woman she appears to be in the present. I really liked her, and the alternating time periods with each chapter allowed the reader to see how she changed throughout the seven years, but a bit more of development to her as a character may have added to the depth of the story. By the end, we find out why she is following the Maestro and a lot of it is inferred but not really explained. I would have enjoyed more information about the events leading up to the revelation at the end. I felt like it was assumed the reader would know what was going on without being told and as a reader, I enjoy having things laid out for me. I enjoy reading the explanations for why things have happened in a story. For me, there was too much chase at the masquerade and I started to get a bit bored because I wasn’t told why she was after him. I loved the “past” part of the novella and with a bit more explanation this would have been a great story. It is still a good read and well worth picking up.