I don't really have much experience with serials. So when I heard Creep Creepersin (CC) on a podcast, I asked him about it (I think it was something like, how do you write a serial? It sounds cool), and CC very generously offered me a copy. This was sometime ago, but because I was having school, I was a bit afraid to start, lest I couldn't stop.
Until one day, I was stuck on a plane. So I cracked open the ebook and began reading. When the first episode finished, I was a little hesitant as to whether I should continue, since the style of writing felt different to me. But then I saw the first hint and was hooked. I read on, and as the story got more and more melodramatic, the hints got harder and harder to figure out. I finished the first season not knowing anymore than when I started, but very intrigued as to what was happening.
Black Star Canyon starts with a murder, but unlike most mystery series I watch, things do not get clearer. Instead, as we get to know these over-the-top characters, things just get murkier. Who is hiding what? And then, another body is found. And the mayor's daughter is severely attacked. Who is behind all these mysterious crimes?
What I liked about this serial were the hints, which hooked me, then drove me crazy because I couldn't guess what was going on. The characters are definitely over the top, especially the mayor, and whether or not you like them is a personal preference. Personally, I like the cops, while the mayor and his family kind of grates on me.
Another thing that you'll either love or hate is the writing style. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's a very exaggerated feel. Kind of like a TV drama. It's very, very vivid, and I think because I was reading something that wrote in the opposite style (I think it was a non-fiction business book), it felt a little strange to me, at least until I got used to it.
All in all, this is a fun novel. You'll either love or hate the vivid prose and over-the-top characters, but one thing that'll probably hook you will be the serial format, with the hints at the end of every episode.
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the author. I was not asked to give a review, but since I finished reading it, I figured I might as well give my honest opinion.