William Bell’s novel Julian wasn’t quite what I expected. It begins with action that made me think there would be more of a crime angle then there turned out to be. In the end it’s a character story, a young man finding himself. It has a nice balance of intrigue and romance.

I didn’t understand a lot of the protagonist’s decisions. He was untrusting with people I thought he should trust and naive when it came to things he should have been alarmed about. He had good instincts in some areas average people would have struggled but failed to see other more obvious risks.

I feel like there was potential in this novel that wasn’t fully realized. It skimmed the surface of politics but didn’t get too involved. It skimmed the surface of an action story, but didn’t have the exciting climax I anticipated. It had a tragic love story, but I think the sadness of the tragedy was somewhat diminished because the happy times together weren’t as fleshed out as the bad times.

This book is ALMOST good, but it doesn’t quite do it for me. It’s a decent read but not overly memorable.


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