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(See Thomas’ notes on how he grades)
This YA urban fantasy novel kept me interested through the book but only barely. I remember looking up several times wondering if I should go trim my fingernails or paint the fence because of its predictability and overused clichés. I can’t honestly recommend this one unless you are a Twilight fanatic in which case you might like this. I just found nothing to lift this title above the level of “meh” and found more than enough to say “I’ll take a pass”.
College student Ava has always thought she was special, that she has powers if she only thinks about them hard enough. Lo and behold she does, as she finds out when she is attacked by a supernatural person with one blue eye and one green. She is saved by someone set to watch over her with similar powers. Where does Ava fit into this world?
I liked the cover. It is what initially drew me to at least look at it. The austere cover with just the hand-drawn portion of the face with one eye green and the other blue struck a cord with me, as did the font used for the title.
More did have good prose (with the exception noted below). More importantly, the dialogue actually sounded like people talking. Too many indie authors fall down with wooden speech. While I wasn’t thrilled by the characters, they were well written.
Not So Good:
Starting the book with a dream sequence for me is always a big, big no-no. Dreams have their place in writing, but not as the lead in to a novel. And of course the dream is prophetic. And of course the dream shows her future antagonist. It seemed like a very blunt instrument.
I object to the archetype protector that is sexy, brilliant, smells good, and single. What happened to the married, portly, hillbilly that smokes three packs a day? I guess I’ll never write a romance novel (or critique one, for that matter). I’d even settle for someone who was just normal. Did I mention that the protagonist is also very attractive and smart? Supermen bore me.
The mixed metaphors got to me. One that particularly drew my ire with not 2 but 3–maybe 4 of them if you really look–and a cliché or two while we are at it: “But once that block was chipped away, it almost always came tumbling down – and like a key in a lock, the understanding clicked into place and it suddenly all made sense.”
Minor nits: The back cover wasn’t formatted correctly nor was the praise sheet just inside the front cover.
This review is by Thomas Gondolfi, Author of Toy Wars and the CorpGov Chronicle and numerous pieces of short fiction in the genres of science fiction and cyberpunk. He is also the owner of TANSTAAFL Press (How do you like your SciFi? ). For more bio information go to http://tanstaaflpress.com/authors/biographies/tom-gondolfi/
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