Rating: (DNF @ chapter 3)
Date Read: June 24 to 26, 2016
Recommended by: DJ
This book came to me highly recommended by a friend who loves the Kate Daniels series, so of course I had to give it a try.
She described it as high fantasy with a kickass heroine, and she’d read all the books in the series several times. I’m always looking for a new series to get into, so I was very interested.
Unfortunately, it’s not for me. But this time, I think it’s the book’s fault for the simple fact that the writing is just not… any good. I found it a struggle to get through, even just the first chapter. The writing comes off as awkward and juvenile and blunt, not unlike the style of a first draft and not unlike an exercise piece you’d see in creative writing classes. Not a diss, just pointing that this book reads like a work in progress.
Here’s what I mean by the writing being awkward. The sentence structures are weird and full of cliches.
His cruel smile winked out as confusion stole his countenance.
Her empty stomach sucked the ribs into the middle of her body, trying to fill that void. Her brain thumped against the inside of her skull with dehydration.
She didn’t have long. She had to find something to eat and drink or her journey would end right here, in this crypt that used to hold a forest.
She was in the last leg of her journey, nearing the Great Sea, and instead of fulfilling her supposed destiny, she was knocking at death’s door.
Her brain pounded so hard it felt like it was trying to rip out of the casing of her skull.
This is just from the first chapter. And there are 50 more chapters presumably just like it.
I went on to finish the second chapter, but it was a real struggle. Definitely not better and desperately needed an editor. I got the sense there was an attempt at humor, specifically “edgy” humor, but the execution of it seems forced, like it’s trying too hard, and kind of embarrassing to read. Moreover, the addition of more characters to build up this fantasy world didn’t improve it–they’re more like caricatures than characters. And the writing’s still very much the same, still a pain to read.
Though to be fair, I should add that the friend who rec’d this book to me said the story gets much better and that later books are significantly stronger and more interesting. Shanti, the main character, is a kickass heroine with kickass powers and there’s lots of action throughout the series. If that’s what you’re interested in, this book might be a good fit. However, the writing style remains the same because it’s the author’s thing. It either works for you or it doesn’t.
I don’t read SF/F for the writing (obviously), and I used to think I could put up with pretty much anything, that it wouldn’t matter much if the story and characters are okay, but this book, or rather what little I’ve read of it, is making me reconsider my standards for “good enough.”