My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Read on 8/16 to page 37, on 8/19 to page 68, on 8/21 to page 80, on 8/25 to page 104, on 8/26 to page 114, on 8/30 to The End
“I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.” Today I reviewed the Reading Deals Review Club “rules” once again because I was distraught. The rule is actually “Only provide honest, constructive reviews”. Some folks may not notice the difference. But I do.
My 2 star rating is based on Amazon’s 2 star rating (I didn’t like it), but I won’t argue with Goodread’s 2 star rating (It was ok.) which makes it sound better. I would not recommend this book. There are some interesting concepts with interconnecting fantasy worlds.
I look at the massive number of 4 and 5 star reviews (at several locations) and think to myself. “I wish I read that book.” There’s no need to detail anything at all about the book. Between the blurbs and the reviews it is pretty much covered top to bottom. There’s no question what is going on, or what happens, or by who. I doubt I could write a spoiler not already written. A person may be able to read the blurb and several reviews and never need read the book. I felt similar about White Fang by Jack London, so it may just be one of my personal quirks.
I did not connect with this book on any level. Not with one character, hard as tried, as dearly as I wanted to. I thought the relationships were contrived and melodramatic. The dialog, when written so I could understand it was beyond my ability to suspend disbelief.
I’m sad as I wanted to like this book. I’ve been writing reviews for ages, writing critiques on unpublished manuscripts for decades, and thought this Reading Deals Review Club might afford me some opportunities to be helpful to beginning writers. So I’m going to try despite my rather harsh feelings about this book.
There are formulas for success with fiction that are well known. There are a hundred books on such things. Ms. Haye asserts she’s studied the science of story and this is the only thing I can imagine she means. And like a mechanic putting the right pieces in the right places she did do a rather remarkable job. In fact, my notes to myself remarks, “she hits her plot points like a metronome.”. That is no small compliment. In that sense, this book should have been as wonderful as all the praise it has received. I felt however the writing skill, the craft of writing, some elements of the fundamentals were all lacking.
I committed to finish reading this book and even 3 paragraphs into the book I knew I didn’t want to. I literally have 4000 words of criticism in my notes. Realizing I may never finish this book I dug in and plowed through the last third, ignoring every time some thing or another completely knocked me out of the book, and just kept at it. Doing that I was able to find some enjoyment in the book. By the end I was actually curious about one or two decisions Ms. Haye had her heroine Zan waffle towards.
I’d like to point out I have rated this book higher than “Catcher in the Rye”. While Mr. Salinger writes better, he could have learned a great deal about story from Ms. Haye.
I hope Ms. Haye continues to have wonderful success with these stories of hers and that her ardent fans continue to support her efforts.