My Trickster

By Serafima Bogomolova

Rating: ★½☆☆☆ 

IR Verdict: The writing is dark, gritty, and sensual. The plot is shown to us from multiple perspectives, which serves to heighten the sense of mystery and strangeness.

Book Reviews, eBooks, Fiction, Mystery/Thriller  •  Jan 15, 2013

My Trickster is a dark and secretive novel focused around the enigmatic figure of La, a sexy brunette pursued from multiple directions as she moves to further her own secret schemes.

But what are her real goals? Who is bringing death and destruction to those around her, and is someone seeking to take her life as well? Who is she, indeed? And who is the mysterious Man in the Mask, who appears at intervals and lures her into a trance of “dark joy” and desire?

The writing is dark, gritty, and sensual. The plot is shown to us from multiple perspectives, which serves to heighten the sense of mystery and strangeness. Key points are kept secret until the end, maintaining the reader’s suspense. The descriptive language is lush, immersing the senses in the moment.

However, the book could be much improved by greater attention to plot coherence and resolution. It is not always made clear which character is thinking or acting, or when the point of view changes, making it difficult to figure out precisely what is going on at any given point. The plot is murky and not very understandable, with little chance for the reader to piece together a  coherent storyline (or storylines). Characters’ motivations are cloudy and their goals unclear, and they do not seem to act as rational individuals. Even the ending, while it reveals some secrets, leaves the reader feeling unsatisfied, with too many questions unanswered.

If you enjoy surreality and mystery, on the other hand, this book might just be your cup of hot, sweet Russian tea.

Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader

 

  • http://www.mytricksterbook.com Serafima Bogomolova

    Hello Catherine!

    Hello Catherine!

    Thank you very much for the review of My Trickster book :-) It is a very good review, however there are some points I disagree with…

    You write: “while it reveals some secrets, leaves the reader feeling unsatisfied, with too many questions unanswered.”

    The intention of the book was not to answer the questions that were raised in it. Quite on the contrary, the intention was to make the reader to use their imagination and find the answers to the questions raised without the author’s help. I am very happy it left you feeling unsatisfied, because it was the very intention of the book, the title of which is My Trickster! The reader is the one who is tricked in the end! :-) :-)

    I also disagree on motivations, rationality and goals. It would be too easy if all these have been explained and presented clearly to the reader to consume. In this case it would be a text-book, not a mystery :-) and why would one want to read a text book? Unless, of course, they study for the exams.

    Human beings are not rational beings. Very often their motivations are murky and hard to comprehend… However, the goals of the characters are quite clear: Kazimir – to gain as much money as possible and consume as much of whatever and whomever he desires at any particular moment… La – to trick the ‘oligarchs’… MacBride – to gain his ‘old’ love back and get the answer to his question… Dmitry – a to seduce La and make her to admire him… Pavel – - to help his friend MacBride… Mr Moreaux – to protect and help his grand daughter…

    More on the above in my blog entry Oh Why, Oh Why? http://serafimabogomolova.com/2012/04/art-of-writing/

    Serafima

  • Anna Kavanagh

    Hi everyone,
    I read carefully both of your reviews and decided to continue this discussion.
    Although I’m getting paid to translate this book into the Russian language, my honest opinion remains unbiased.
    Translation is a combination of background knowledge and language skills therefore one really has to absorb the essence of a novel to be able to bring it to life in a different language.
    This book is a mystery. With the mystery one has to use his/hers imagination. On one hand I agree with Catherine: characters motives do seem unclear at some points, but only because they all tangled up in a complicated web of unexpected events. On the other hand, Serafima is right. Their goals are pretty clear: Kazimir wants to gain as much money as possible and exercise his power over an object of his current desire, MacBride is nursing his wounded ego and looking for some answers, Dmitry wants to be admired by La, Mr Moreaux is there to help his granddaughter and La… well La is a playgirl. She is playing this game not so much for monetary gain but mostly for an excitement of it, for adrenalin rush. Now the Mask… He is THE most mysterious character that throws more questions than answers and this is exactly where one’s imagination must intervene.
    Humans are not always rational, agreed. That’s why the plot of a novel can be complex and less coherent. Just take for example the series “Lost”. Even with question unanswered people kept watching it. And when it was finished a lot of those questions remained unanswered. Plots like this leave a clear pathway for a sequel.