Review: The Main Character by Jaclyn Goldis

The Main CharacterThe Main Character by Jaclyn Goldis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Main Character is the 2nd-release that I have read from Jaclyn Goldis, the 1st being The Chateau, which ended up not being a great fit for me.

While I still had some issues with this one, it was definitely a more enjoyable read, IMO. Thus, Goldis and I have an upward trajectory together, and I love to see that.

In this story we are following a group of characters on a luxury train trip aboard the newly-renovated Orient Express. The focus of our tale is Rory, who has recently worked as the main character for a bestselling mystery author, Ginevra Ex.

What does that mean exactly? Basically, Ginevra researches Rory, her main character, including everything in her life, and everyone, and then the author frames the main character of her next book on what she discovered while learning about Rory.

I’m sure that sounds intrusive and it was, but Rory willingly participated. How bad can it be?

The train trip was a gift to Rory from the author at the conclusion of the project. The ARCs are ready and Ginevra wants to thank Rory for her time.

Upon boarding the train though, Rory is shocked to find her brother, her best friend and her ex-fiance already aboard. What the heck is going on here? Why would the author bring them all together like this?

It seems Ginevra uncovered some truths during her research that could shock the heck out of Rory. Playing out on the train, as twisted as any fictional story, Rory finds herself suddenly in a vacation from hell. Was this the author’s plan all along? Rory needs to find out.

As with The Chateau, there’s a lot going on here. We get various perspectives in the present, as well as a historical perspective. Generally, I enjoy that, and by the end, I enjoyed that here as well, but in the beginning, I will admit to being bored by the historical portions.

I did appreciate how the author ended up tying the two timelines together though, and it does make sense in light of everything that ultimately played out.

I did enjoy the characters and all of their interpersonal dramas. They’re not likable, but they were definitely interesting. I did have times when I felt for Rory, and I sort of liked her best friend, Caroline, as well.

As with most friend groups, there are secrets which end up being exposed. It makes for an intense trip and I do feel like Goldis did a solid job building that tension throughout.

One area where I was disappointed, however, was the atmosphere. I’m an atmosphere girlie and when you tell me we are going on a train journey, especially on the infamous Orient Express, I want to feel that.

Honestly, I kept forgetting they were even on a train. There was so much focused on their interactions, they really could have been anywhere. It’s unfortunate, because the train is a huge selling point for this novel.

Nevertheless, there are still some fun and engaging attributes to this, so I can see a lot of Readers really enjoying it. I’m also happy that I had a much better experience with this than with The Chateau.

If you pick this one up, I highly recommend reading the Author’s Note at the end, where Goldis discusses some of her inspiration for the historical portions of this story. I thought that was so good to know and I’m sure her family is extra proud of this one because of it.

Thank you to the publisher, Atria Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m 100% on board with future work from this author.

View all my reviews