Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis


Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
storytelling

I read this book yesterday. It was light paranormal fantasy with some romantic elements or hints of it. It was terribly flawed, yet I read to the end, eager to see what happened and why. I think I’ll be reading the sequel when it comes out. I’m thinking about why, though. As many flaws as this book has, I should have stopped reading and moved on to another book. So what did it have going on?

Let’s start with the flaws, or what the book needed to overcome. First, there were a lot of spelling and other errors, like changing names of characters in a scene or mis-referencing the various characters in their actions. Second, there was some info dumping, and then some weird pacing issues. Some of the character interactions seemed odd and inexplicable. When a big event happened, there was little believable reaction. Things seemed to develop in an unconnected way. Little of the magic was explained, and what was, was repetitious. There wasn’t enough showing to go with the telling.

Okay, that’s a lot to overcome. So what made me keep reading and wanting to keep going? First, the magic was fun and the world was different. I loved the interactions between the characters and I liked them. I was curious about some of the events and I wanted to know more. There were a lot of episodic moments that ran to completion, which I liked, even though they didn’t seem interconnected. I didn’t like the bad guy was predictable and that one of the main sort of bad guy (not bad, but significantly obnoxious) fell off the radar and turned out to be completely unimportant to the story. I didn’t buy certain motivations. And yet I still liked this story! I did enjoy the voice of the character. She wasn’t stupid, and she wasn’t over the top brave/kick-ass. She was a quieter sort of protagonist.

So my take away from this is that you can make a lot of mistakes and still pull readers in if you have good characters, an interesting world, a good voice, and entertaining action. It’s so far from perfect it isn’t funny, but it was a fun read.

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