on April 26, 2013 :
'Creeping Dawn: The Rise of the Black Centipede' is a book that I both highly enjoyed, and one that also made me want to set it aside and forget about.
The intro to the book is wonderfully done, the way that Miller introduces the Centipede from his fictional roots and then goes into his actual roots was interesting to read. Some elements, such as Lizzie Borden, were both unusual and yet very engaging. It actually had me reaching for Google to refresh my memory.
The first half, if not first three quarters of this book are well done. Elements flow easily into each other, the action is handled well. Not too detailed yet not too glossed over. There's an element of danger, mystery, and the hunt for Dr. Almanac contained just the right of Pulp villian craziness with over the top characters. (Baron Samedi being one of my favorites)
The writing is fairly well done, the characters are believeable and the Pulp aspect of the story shines bright. There is a lot here to engage the reader, to drive them on in the story and to keep them interested. Even slow parts in the beginning were still interesting enough to keep me interested in what was going on.
However, in the last quarter of the book, the story quickly falls apart for me. There is no real climax to the story, no final confrontation between Almanac and Centipede. Instead, you are treated to a second hand telling of how the criminal mastermind was arrested. Not only that, but the telling of that tale is so drawn out, so muddled, so uninteresting, that I really wanted to set the book aside and forget about it. One of the major things I have found with Pulp fiction, is that much like modern day superhero stories, you can't build up to a climactic battle and then not have it. It's like reader's blue balls. Not only that, it takes the climax right out of the book. Your rising action suddenly ends and then...nothing.
Creeping Dawn could have easily been a four to five star book. I really did enjoy a large, significant portion of it. I will and have recommend it to others to read, especially if you enjoy the Pulp genre. However, the lack of any real climax to the story, even with the surprise 'who done it' ending, really drags this book down for me. I will be buying the sequal to this novel, however, because I really do like the story, I do like the characters, and Miller is a fairly good writer.
So if you like Pulp, pick this book up. The ending may work for you, it has for others that have rated and reviewed this book. However, it didn't work for me. But still, if you like Pulp, you will probably really enjoy this story.
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)