Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jeff Lindsay - Dexter in the Dark

I am extremely disappointed with this latest offering by Jeff Lindsay in the Dexter series. Personally, I feel it is shockingly written and just so completely out of tune with the first two books, and strikingly so in comparison with Dearly Devoted Dexter that I've only just read. I think it was completely the wrong move to suddenly plonk in a supernatural aspect to Dexter -- it was utterly ludicrous and so contradictory to the psychological tones of its predecessors. I mean, suddenly, Dexter's Dark Passenger is another being all together, and it just runs away?! Puh-leeze! Plus, those passages about IT were really annoying and bizarre. If they were supposed to send chills down my back, that certainly didn't happen.

When Lindsay introduced the concept of Rita's children turning into mini Dexters in the previous book, that never sat well with me and I detest that bit of the storyline even more so in Dexter in the Dark. As an Amazon reviewer pointed out, not all children with a traumatic past grow up to be sociopaths (and while Astor and Cody had an abusive father, Lindsay never really portrayed any truly horrific experiences for them, as opposed to Dexter, who witnessed his mother's murder and was caked in inches of blood for days) but Dexter somehow ends up becoming a stepfather to not one, but two of them? Not very believable, and also makes for uncomfortable reading - one Dexter really is quite enough.

The character of Rita is also incredibly annoying in the books. On the TV show, Rita is scarred and vulnerable but acquires quiet inner strength for her children, and is most definitely a sensible Susan. On paper, she's whiny and frivolous, and turns into Bridezilla with unreasonable demands for the wedding, which just seems so out of character, considering her past. Maybe it's just that the TV series has shaped Rita so well, but Rita never seems to quite fit in the books.

Ultimately, this was a major disappointment for me. I flew through the second book and could not get enough; with this, I plodded my way through it and came out unsatisfied. Now that Dexter's Dark Passenger has "returned" (in another ridiculous manner), I hope that Jeff Lindsay can focus on getting Dexter right and bring back the Dexter that readers love. The TV series has been brilliant so far, here's hoping that streak continues into the third season!

4 comments :

  1. xstitch.nl said...

    Holy smokes, no wonder there's no drama at Her Drama-ness!! You must be reading 24/7?!! Well, just wanted to say hi... so... HI!!!

  2. Leeny said...

    Yep, I haven't been able to stitch but at least I've been able to read! I can sneak in reading during lunch at work but I just can't bring myself to stitch in a mostly male environment! It's hard enough working there as a female, so I have to hide my girly habits at home, hee hee hee...

    THANKS FOR DROPPING BY AND SAYING HELLO!!! :) Hope you're doing well! :)

  3. sharksmile said...

    To me, the dark passenger is an imaginative way to capture the barrier between dexter and his own emotions. I don't think Lindsay wanted to convince us that serial killers are driven by demons more than wanting to expose Dexter's real persona, without the psychopathic damage. In any case, an emotional dexter who actually becomes afraid and even embarrassed made me laugh out loud and stay up late to read on the edge of my seat. It's very exciting when you indulge in the emotional aspect of it .
    I agree with you about IT though, so cheesy.

  4. Nomarhas said...

    Hi, just wanted to say I agree wholeheartedly with your review. I was really looking forward to this third novel and it was just awful.

    The kids - Cody and Astor - are really becoming a problem for me in this series. Just leave it at Dexter.

    Hope the fourth novel is better. Sigh