Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Good, but could be much better
on 7 May 2013
I found this an interesting read, mainly for two reasons: the usage of magic and the paranormal is different from anything I have read before, and most of the characters are older - thirty-ish, rather than precocious teens or early twenty-somethings - which also feels different. I like the three main characters and found the conspiracy interesting, as was the kind of steampunk feel to parts of it.
Why I bought the book:
- I'm looking for new authors, and this book had a pretty high rating
- It came up in my recommendations
- I was intrigued by the sample; the opening has some action and a complex relationship
- Strong female character
Why I had to give it 3 stars:
- Despite the interesting use of magic and the potential of the character relationships, the writing could be MUCH better. I found myself re-reading a few passages 2 or 3 times, still not being able to make sense of what was written, and moving on feeling slightly annoyed. I could grasp what the author was getting at through context some of the time, but sometimes it felt like an explanatory sentence (or paragraph) had been dropped, or that the author was writing something out for herself (and had the rest in her head).
- More detail and description about the people and places would be nice - the book could safely be a bit longer without being dull, and I found myself a bit frustrated at the 300-odd page length and feeling that a bit more meat would have helped.
- The repetition. By the end of the book, reading "the Young Pretender" and a few other phrases over and over again was doing my head in.
- The romance bit was awkward - I actually felt uncomfortable, rather than titillated or drawn in.
Despite this I went ahead and got the second book, mainly to see how some story elements from the first book would be continued, but I'm really hoping that the writing improves.