Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Review: The Mussorgsky Riddle

The Mussorgsky Riddle, by Darin Kennedy

Genre: dark-fantasy mystery, supernatural thriller

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release: January 12, 2015

Cover Artist: Polina Sapershteyn


Psychic Mira Tejedor possesses unique talents that enable her to find anything and anyone, but now she must find a comatose boy wandering lost inside the labyrinth of his own mind. Thirteen-year-old Anthony Faircloth hasn’t spoken a word in almost a month and with each passing day, his near catatonic state worsens. No doctor, test, or scan can tell Anthony’s distraught mother what has happened to her already troubled son. In desperation, she turns to Mira for answers, hoping her unique abilities might succeed where science has failed.

At their first encounter, Mira is pulled into Anthony’s mind and finds the child’s psyche shattered into the various movements of Modest Mussorgsky’s classical music suite, Pictures at an Exhibition. As she navigates this magical dreamscape drawn from Anthony’s twin loves of Russian composers and classical mythology, Mira must contend with gnomes, troubadours, and witches in her search for the truth behind Anthony’s mysterious malady.

The real world, however, holds its own dangers. The onset of Anthony’s condition coincides with the disappearance of his older brother’s girlfriend, a missing persons case that threatens to tear the city apart. Mira discovers that in order to save Anthony, she will have to catch a murderer who will stop at nothing to keep the secrets contained in Anthony’s unique mind from ever seeing the light.




The author had a talent for writing these types of stories. I have not read a book quite like this before and I'm extremely glad that I had the chance to read it. The writing and story is musical and surreal and is coupled with a few mysteries to make the reader think, which I loved. The writing is tight, concise, and is well written and edited.

This book has a wonderful, lyrical tone in its prose. Darin Kennedy has a way with words so that I could easily imagine the music and sights as I read. I found myself easily diving into the world and I was instantly intrigued by the story line and characters. The main character, Mira is older than I expected, she is a mother of a young daughter but she is easily relatable and I found myself agreeing with her choices during the story. 

I especially loved the way how Mira's abilities take form through smells. It's unusual but extremely effective in this story. I just wish there had been more background on her abilities or more about her family. The abilities are mentioned but briefly covered and her family are minor subplots in the story. I would have liked it to be a more major plot line to help add more suspense in the story for Mira's personal/internal conflict.

The beginning had me hooked and carried me easily through the rest of the story. The story is consistent and moves at a decent pace that I found myself turning the pages even though I needed to do something else. I think about 1/2 way through I was wondering if we were going to get more solid evidence about the mysteries but we didn't until 3/4 of the way. While I had to break up my reading into several days because I was busy but I never had a problem diving right back in to the story.

I don't want to write too much about it in fear that I will give away too much but it's a story that will keep you on your toes and its twists will keep you reading. The ending is abrupt but it did surprise me. I think you will enjoy this book if you like surreal ideas, mysteries, and suspense.

3.8 out of 5 rating for me.

(An ARC was provided by the publisher for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)


About Darin Kennedy:

Darin Kennedy, born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing family medicine residency in the mountains of Virginia, he served eight years as a United States Army physician and wrote his first novel in 2003 in the sands of northern Iraq.

His debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves: classical music and world mythology. His short stories can be found in various publications and he is currently hard at work on his next novel.

Doctor by day and novelist by night, he writes and practices medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina. When not engaged in either of the above activities, he has been known to strum the guitar, enjoy a bite of sushi, and rumor has it he even sleeps on occasion.

Find Darin Kennedy Online:

No comments: