Bernheimer's "Dead Eye," a non-review

Review book courtesy of the author.


To recap: when I put up a “non-review,” it means I couldn’t finish a book. I’m not going to review it on Epinions or Amazon, but I don’t mind telling you folks here why I decided not to finish it in case that information helps you out. Just keep in mind that my judgment isn’t based on the entire book.

Jim Bernheimer’s Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman is the tale of an injured war vet who receives a cornea transplant and starts seeing (and being able to interact with) ghosts. He helps out ghosts who haven’t moved on and the people who are haunted by them, but he also finds himself being targeted by someone who might have been involved in his cornea donor’s death.

Have you ever read a book that you found you really wanted to like, but you just couldn’t get into it regardless? That’s what Dead Eye was like for me. I ended up pushing all the way through to page 125, way past my usual for books that I don’t finish, because I kept hoping for it to pick up. The basic premise, after all, is interesting, and the main character has depth. In particular I enjoyed some of the early ghosts that show up—they’re unusual and entertaining. But in the end, that just wasn’t enough for me. Looking at the ratings of this book on Amazon I’m clearly in the minority here, so definitely check out other folks’ reviews if you’re on the fence.

Anyway, here are the major reasons why I didn’t finish. For one, it felt as though the book took too long to get around to its major plot. The main character seemed to keep putting it off as though it was unimportant while he mucked around solving people’s ghost problems, and since he didn’t take much interest in it, it was hard for me to. Also, the story was told in the first person, and it was very talky, which slowed it down.

The details of how the main character interacted with ghosts (as well as one or two other things) seemed inconsistent. Most of the time the main character had to touch ghosts to talk with them and that hurt like hell, but occasionally he hung out and chatted with them as though it was no big deal. He picked up and used a sword with ease even though I don’t remember any mention of his having experience with one. There are other examples, but you get the idea.

The part that most hurt this book for me, though, was the utterly annoying side characters—particularly the females. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why the main character seemed to have feelings for one shrewish and obnoxious lady.

There were a few other minor complaints that I had, but that should give you enough of an idea why I didn’t end up finishing this one. Again, however, I seem to be in the minority, so check out other reviewers’ opinions. If you read this one, let me know what you thought!

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