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Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh | Book Review

The second book in a series, Near Enemy takes place in New York City, about 20 years after 9/11, and years after a second terror attack, on Times Square. New York is desolate, everyone having moved after being hit again. We follow a hit man named Spademan as he tries to unravel a bizarre claim from a man he was supposed to kill. Lesser is a “bed-hopper,” who peeps on other people’s dreams and fantasies, in the “limnosphere.” He witnesses a terrorist-like mass murder while peeping on a man, which isn’t supposed to happen in the limn.

I have not read the first book in this series, which is probably why I feel like I’m missing something. Sternbergh paints a vivid picture of the goings-on, and the plotline is interesting. However, the style in which it’s written is very distracting to me. People talk. There are no quotation marks. After a while, it gets hard to distinguish who is talking to whom, and if they’re still in conversation or we’re back to Spademan’s thoughts. Capitalization was also an issue with a lot of things- for instance, when Spademan would read headlines of newspapers. The book is written in short, choppy sentences as well, but surprisingly, that didn’t bother me as much as the quotes and capitalization. It was distracting and made it hard to focus on the actual story, since it didn’t follow “the rules” of grammar*.

*I know there is such a thing as creative license, but when you are taught from such a young age that proper nouns should be capitalized and to use quotations to depict someone talking… it’s hard to just turn that “off” mentally, to read the book.

Other notes:

I had a couple other issues as well, but not with the book itself. I opted to get the e-book, and have it sent to my Kindle via Edelweiss/ Above the Tree Line. However, when Blogging for Books sent me the email to download, it wasn't available. I was told (from Edelweiss) that it was because the book had already gone on sale and Blogging for Books shouldn't have told me it was available. BFB took care of it once I emailed them.

Then, I tried to download from Edelweiss again (link was working). I found out in trying to get it onto my Kindle, that if I chose the "direct to Kindle" method, I would be charged- but didn't say how much. Otherwise, I could send it to the main email on the Amazon account, and download it from there, and transfer to the Kindle. A lot of work for a very slow internet connection. So, I decided to download the Bluefire Reading app, and read on the iPad. Except for that I tested it first on my phone. Didn't realize I could only put it on one device, even though the iTunes and Bluefire accounts were the same. I was reduced to reading on my phone, which would easily distract me with Facebook, text messages, and Candy Crush. Anyway, lesson learned. Only hard copies from now on!

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Linking with Hodges Podges, East Cost Chic 


  1. Biana Perez11:36:00 AM

    Not being able to read the book the way you want is a bummer!!! I'm not sure I could even read it lol! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  2. Yeah, it sucked because I think it would have been a good book if I could read it properly. and didn't get sidetracked by punctuations and such.

  3. Jo Elizabeth5:51:00 PM

    I get totally distracted by books in different formats, too. Especially those that choose to ignore all those things we've grown up learning to be "right."

  4. Yes! It totally messes with your mind! I spent more time trying to figure out who was saying what, and if they were saying... anything!


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