This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
I have to admit that I was a little disappointed by this book. I went into this book with incredibly high expectations so some of that disappointment is of my own making. When I first saw this book's cover, I knew that I had to read it. Then I read the book's synopsis and knew that I would love it. I ended up liking the book but I didn't love it.
This is Champion's story and is told from his point of view. Champion is not just an any dog. He is immortal and has lived for 217 years. Champion was separated from his master in Venice over 100 years ago and has spent that time waiting for him as he was told to do. He has made connections with others and even rescued another dog, Sporco, but he never stops looking for his master.
The timeline of this story does jump around a bit. We see Champion after waiting for more than 100 years for his master before going to search for him and we also see different points in the past before they lost each other. I never found the time sequence to be confusing. It really seemed like the points in the past were important to the story and felt more like memories. I really liked the historical setting of the novel which spans from the 1600's into the 1800's which I thought added a lot to the story.
I really enjoyed Champion's journey to find his master more than any other part of the book. Sporco was my favorite character by far and I enjoyed his love of life. I really felt like Sporco felt much more dog-like than Champion did. Champion has lived a very long time and is wiser than most humans. His most dog-like quality would be his loyalty to his master.
The book felt a bit uneven to me with some parts falling flat. I liked the parts of the book that were focused on what the dogs were doing the most. During the last part of the book, the focus seemed to shift more to the humans as witnessed by the dog which wasn't as enjoyable for me. There were times that the book felt like it was longer than it needed to be and dragged at points.
I think that a lot of readers will enjoy this one a bit more than I did. It is a really unique story set in a vividly described period of time. I didn't love the book as much as I had hoped I would but I am glad that I made the decision to read it. I would definitely read more of Damian Dibben's works in the future.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Harlequin - Hanover Square Press via NetGalley.
I am a bit disappointed with this one. The last part of this book fell really flat to me. It seemed like things became more about the people than the dog and I liked the parts more focused on the dog. This was probably more of a 2.5 star read for me but I am rounding up for now.