Something about this book really interested me. Whether it was the eye-catching cover that would look wonderful on a bookshelf, or the synopsis that was compelling enough to make me immediately curious about the situation the two opponents and the Doctor were in, I'm not sure, but I didn't hesitate before adding the book to my list.
The intro to the book grabbed my attention. I had no doubt that the author really put in the time and effort into creating the atmosphere of every scene, and this thought only strengthened as I went deeper and deeper into the book. If I had to rate The Seconds only on the ambience, I would give it five stars without a second thought. But, The Seconds wasn't meant to be a series of written postcards, but rather a whole book - with layered personalities, a good story, and engaging writing. And unfortunately, the detail that went into creating the atmosphere seemed excessive at certain points in the book. I almost felt like I was reading an entire paragraph about the placement on someone's elbow on a table, and it made the writing seem quite slow and dragged out at those points.
That would be my only concern, because apart from that, I enjoy a good mystery (almost as a rule), and there was plenty of that in the book, albeit subtly told. The narrative shifted from the past to the present with each chapter, and if I could describe it, I'd say it felt like the stretching of an elastic band - pulled slowly apart until it can't stretch any further and snaps back to the centre; a quick, amusing, satisfying release of the built-up suspense.
It was around the 70% mark of the book that I began to thoroughly enjoy myself, and it made me wonder if the writing was the sort that just took time getting used to, and I began to withhold any criticism till I reached the end, which, like I mentioned, was very satisfying - the kind you read and think "well, that was interesting."
I'd say this book is definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but if it is yours, you might like it much, much more than I did, and for that, I recommend it freely. The story is certainly quite fascinating, and in a very real way - a solid 3-star read.
I'm Arshia, and if anything, I'd probably identify with a witch's brew, because I'm made up of the most eclectic bunch of interests and ideas one could imagine. Two of those interests happen to be reading and writing, and Reedsy will help me manifest the very same into my own witch's brew.