Headline, h/b, 416pp, Â£14.99
Reviewed by Rebekah Lunt
The String Diaries is the story of a family line which has been stalked through time by the twisted son of a shape-shifting Hungarian bloodline.The story centres on Hannah Wilde’s little family who are on the run from the villain of the piece, Jakab, who can shape-shift to resemble any person he chooses.
Hannah’s life has been filled with the knowledge that, sooner or later, Jakab will come for her and her family, and will most likely look like those she loves the most. The String Diaries are how her ancestors have been able to pass on the history of Jakab and the ‘Hosszu eletek’ to create a type of survival guide for their descendents.
The story switches back and forth through the histories of Hannah’s and Jakab’s stories, through ancestors’ stories and the history of the Hosszu eletek. The interleaving stories, woven together to the ultimate consequence of the story, is definitely the strength of the book; whilst the justification for the insane cruelty of Jakab is somewhat weaker.
The book is certainly within the same category as ‘Dan Brown-esque, summer blockbuster, would probably be good as a movie’, type of read. It was a quick and enjoyable read for me, an entertaining thriller which moves at a good pace. My only criticism is that I would have liked more depth and dimension to the story – it’s very well woven but, like the shape-shifters’ ability, it all eventually feels very surface without much depth. Nonetheless, it is worth a look and definitely perfect for a lazy holiday read.