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Evensong (Meratis Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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The fictional author, Jeff, was a hugely sympathetic character for me. I was rooting for him all the way and felt indignant on his behalf when some of the other characters from his fictional world treated him less than sympathetically. But as the story unfolded, even the frostier characters warmed to him as he began to prove his worth.
There were many other vivid characters in this novel and I particularly liked the way the author has created some strong female characters - especially Jasmine and Maggie. They were not unrealistically strong though and did have their weaknesses. I thought the author portrayed them well, particularly the way Jasmine begins to thaw towards Jeff as the story progresses which I thought was true to life.
The world that the author has created has obviously been meticulously planned and thought out, with a whole back story to the situation it was in when Jeff first arrived. This made it very vivid and real to me.
I don't read a lot of fantasy, but I would say that this story would be accessible to anyone who likes a gripping, exciting and fun read.
I really liked how Jeff gradually changes in this book. His arrogance becomes humble, his fear becomes courage. I also liked the concept that these characters lives also developed themselves. A lovely story to read. Already on book 2
A mixture of great world-building and excellent characters ensure nothing does go wrong with it. In fact, the whole thing worked smoother than I thought possible. Not only does Krista make the fictional realm of Andvell appealing and interesting, she also makes the boring, everyday life of Jeff Powell (the fictional author in Evensong) intriguing as well.
The cast of characters are well fleshed out and, as a nice touch that I did not see coming, have their own lives, histories and aspirations that their creator (Jeff) had not wrote nor even thought about. Thought of as a saviour for their problems, Jeff soon shows how useless he is at the sort of things the Andvellians would consider an everyday task. After a cold reception, Jeff finds the characters he created start to thaw out towards him and he begins to form friendships with these fictional people that are stronger than any he has in the ‘real’ world.
From start to finish Evensong has you burning with desire to see what happens next. Whether it be a battle scene or a simple conversation you are always curious. The unique ‘author goes into story’ plot line helps to give the reader a deeper connection to the characters and also serves to ask that question: what happens when you close the pages of a book? Do the characters just stop what they’re doing or do they continue to live lives of their own? In Evensong they most certainly continue to live lives of their own and have you constantly wondering just how your favourite characters from other books would spend their time if they had the chance.
If there was one negative thing to say about Evensong it would be that, at times, the language used doesn’t feel very authentic. It feels too modern and Americanised (which I should probably apologise for saying considering the author is Canadian). Where you expect a fantasy style you often get the sort of conversation or slang you might find in American TV shows. It’s not a huge drawback, but for me it was noticeable.
Krista manages this very well; you won't be flicking back a few pages to work out why you don't understand that passage about a magical spell you've just read, and the plot, while allowing for future options (who doesn't want to see the big bad guy make a return eventually?!) doesn't amble off into randomness. There's some decidedly non-standard use of creatures, and some well-developed relationships that hold the interest.
I liked the premise - a very clever one of having Jeff the 'author' of the piece trapped inside his own story - his own shortcomings as a writer are laid bare and used against him - some of his characters have developed lives and events he never wrote, a subconscious overcoming of his own simplified black and white approach to his main plot strands. By the end, Jeff appears to have learned valuable lessons in how he needs to think more like his characters and let them live in the pages.
A promising tale - I hope there are more.
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