Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: A Tricky Game by Seraphima Bogomolova

In Russia, an aluminum magnate, Kazimir Stankevitch, enters into an unwritten agreement with Angela Moreaux, an enigmatic and seductively attractive woman that he secretly desires. Later that night, as she returns home from a nightclub, a shot is fired at her. At the same time, in the Ritz, her unsuspecting associate has a meeting with an elderly Swiss gentleman, Jacques Moreaux, who delivers to him a mysterious letter signed by Angela. In a game of genuine intents, secret longings and seconds agendas, the seemingly unconnected yet mysteriously intertwined events unfold on the pages of this compelling psychological novella. As the stakes in the game go higher, the young woman finds herself confronted with life choices that will challenge her on unexpected levels.

Reading the blurb, I wanted to know more, and my hopes was high. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to it. There are some great elements in it, but for me, the bad things possess too much of the story.

The plot in itself is a good one. I would’ve wished Seraphima had walked it out all the way, explored it some more, instead of leaving it like the way she did. It is still solid, but a bit flat perhaps. It changes from being a thriller to a romance sort of plot. In reality, I don’t see why she had to leave the original plot to morph it into something else, but maybe it’s just me.

One of the good things, something I really liked was that each chapter started with a quote. And it was different authors every time; from Backstreet Boys to John Wodden and Vince Lombardi. It definitely gave something special to each chapter.

The content in the chapters felt choppy though. One thing is that each chapter is short; the book is 108 pages and there are 12 chapters. That I don’t mind. Short chapters are sometimes a good thing if done right. Seraphima had chosen to divide each chapter up even more into small sections. It sort of distorted the flow of the book. The scenes themselves were stilted, a lot of them was taken up by Angela (or anyone of the other characters) walking from A to B, driving in cars, lightning a cigarette or pouring themselves a glass of wine. The conversations between the different people didn’t feel natural either. When addressing someone you’re familiar with you usually on first name basis (or a nickname or even last name), you don’t go saying both first and last name. The conversations feels like they’re from a manuscript. She says something, then he has to answer and back and forth, but no emotions are involved. You don’t get a picture of where they are or how they feel, just words. Which also –to me – makes the characters feel flat.

All in all, to me, A Tricky Game didn’t live up to the expectations I had, and the few good things that were in the book didn’t counter for the not so good ones.

The author of a psychological thriller ‘A Tricky Game‘ and the editor of Avantoure infotainment blog, Seraphima Bogomolova was born and raised in St Petersburg, Russia. She received a degree in English and American Literature in the private Institute of Foreign Languages. Her studies had a big influence on her literary preferences with her two favourite authors being Anton Chekhov, one of the greatest writers of short stories in history, and John Fowles, a master of mystification in post modern English literature.

Seraphima’s love for travel and exploration brought her to many cities and countries including London, New York, Moscow, Dubai, and Geneva. In Moscow, she had an opportunity to run a cigar magazine, Hecho a Mano, the first glossy publication on tobacco in Russia.

In 2006 her publishing experience led Seraphima to launch her own rich media publication, Avantoure. This innovative, ahead of time project had made a stir in the digital publishing world and was produced in its avant-garde format until late 2009.

Her debut into literary world started in October 2010 in New York, where a certain sequence of events prompted her to begin writing her first novella 'A Tricky Game‘. The first draft of the book was finished by the end of 2011. In 2012 a pilot version of it was released. Based on the feedback of the readers the novella was reworked and the final improved version of it was published in July 2013.

Currently, Seraphima works on her second novella and also helps her husband on the development and launch of an innovative online platform related to books.


No comments:

Post a Comment