Shadow Over Avalon takes you to a different world, but at the same time manages to keep some part of you anchored to a beloved piece of literary history. And the way that Lesley does it is as magical as the legend itself. Lesley not only creates an environment that mesmerizes the reader, she also threatens, amazes, and makes the reader feel at home, but always with suspense thick in the air.
The characters make or break a book for me, and these characters were as real as my neighbors (unfortunately). Some I loved like a dear friend; some I loathed. But all of them made me “feel” and that’s what’s important to me. These were not cookie-cutter fill-ins that Lesley pulled from another novel. I’m convinced that somewhere, in some life or time, Lesley “knew” these people. They’re as real as that.
Plot is the other thing that keeps me flipping pages in a book, and I have to say I’m often tempted to toss a book if the plot isn’t strong. No worries with Shadow Over Avalon. This plot keeps you guessing, keeps you filled with suspense and dread, keeps you wondering what the hell is going to happen next. Exactly the way I want it.
That brings me to prose and quality of writing. There’s not much to say, except—damn good job. Every author has a unique voice; Lesley’s is unique in a very good way. Like all good authors, it takes a few pages for her style to latch onto you, but once you settle in there’s no going back. I read this in two nights, but only because I had to sleep; otherwise, I would have pushed through that first night. Don’t plan on starting this book late; you’ll curse yourself in the morning if you do.
There aren’t a lot of books I rave about, but Shadow Over Avalon takes most of what I love in books and wraps it all up in a nice present. Great characters, great plot, great prose, add in a great setting and you’re set to go. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good book. And I might say, this could easily be a cross-genre interest. You don’t have to be a fan of Arthurian legends, or SciFi/fantasy to love this book. Go get it. You won’t be disappointed.
Giacomo Giammatteo, author.