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Petrified - Barbara Nadel After I finished reading Petrified I told my sister that I was thoroughly disgusted with it, and that is mostly true. I think. The story telling wasn't particularly bad, and there were parts of this story that really were thought provoking. The juxtaposition of East and West, Islam and Christianity, past and future, holding on and letting go were very present and potent in this Cetin Ikmen novel, and there was a lot in those themes that grabbed me and held me through the whole book. And Nadel can tell a story in a way that makes a book next to impossible to put down, and next to impossible to get out of your head once you do finally divorce the book from your hand!

That said, in this novel Barbara Nadel took one of the best characters she has created in these stories (and I mean best both in terms of her craftsmanship of the character and in terms of his morals and ethics), and all but ruined him for me. I found this character's actions and behavior in this book to be completely inconsistent with the character Nadel established for him in past books. The author's decision to take this character down a path that seemed completely at odds with all of the past character development she's done with him seriously colored my impression and enjoyment of Petrified. I feel like there is so much darkness in these books, that it just doesn't do to have a major character from the light side slip into the dark side. Of course, I guess sometimes even very good people lose their bearings and fall, and sometimes they fall far, and with significant consequence. Maybe that was Nadel's whole point.

In addition to the problems I had with character, I felt that the primary mystery in this book was transparent, and I had it figured out fairly quickly. I was also frustrated with the cliffhanger ending of this book, but that's just because I generally like instant gratification.

So, there was a lot about the book I didn't like. But Nadel made me think. A lot. About a lot of themes and about what she could have been *really* saying with this work. Like the artist in this story, she took lots of ugliness and lots of things that made me very uncomfortable, and made statements with this work. I have to give her credit for that.