I downloaded this book sight unseen because I wanted to support Buzzy Multimedia, and James Marsters has quickly become one of my three all time favorite narrators. His performance was excellent, as always, and the world the characters inhabited was intricate and well realized, but the characters are trite, derivitive, and frankly boring.
There's nothing wrong with this book, per se. If you love harlequin romances, this will probably be a step up from your usual fare. If you can't get enough of shows like Smallville and Vampire Diaries, this will probably be right up your alley, but I was disappointed that this interesting alternate reality was wasted on a generic teenage fantasy romance plot.
The "main" character spends most of her time as a captive, waiting to be rescued by her various romantic interests. She fights, true, but once captured, she's vacillates between damsel in distress, and moron. If she were shown to actively take charge of her own destiny, rather than simply reacting to every event, it might be easier to swallow the Greyfrier's infatuation with her.
You probably remember James Marsters best as Spike from Buffy, but if you didn't know that beforehand, you'd probably never realize it from his narration. He's got the kind of voice that can make even the straightest man question his sexuality, so he's the perfect choice to narrate a romance, but even he can't make these characters interesting.
It would probably run on the CW, and the teenage lead would most likely be played by a 20something model-turned-actress like they usually get.
First off, there's a lot to like about this book. I enjoyed it, but I was in an extremely forgiving mindset because I was under the impression that this was Faith Hunter's first novel. I was able too look past the amaturish dialog, the unnecessary and plot-dragging repetition, and the heavy handed humor (protip: when you have to point out that something was supposed to be funny, that usually means that it wasn't, and if by some miracle it had been, you have just ruined the effect.) No self respecting editor or publisher should have let this go to print. I know it's difficult to catch all the mistakes, tense switches and unneccessary repetitions, but that's what beta readers are supposed to be for.
Faith Hunter has an intriguingly creative mind, but she is still making mistakes I wouldn't accept from a high-schooler's class project, much less a published book, and she's had at least three previous tries to practice.
The technical mistakes draw the reader out of the narrative enough that it is no longer possible to ignore the glaringly stupid choices the characters make, stereotypical cardboard villains, the pre-teen fantasy bad-boy love interests, and the myriad of other problems that are obvious upon any kind of reflection. When you throw in a cringeworthy narrator on top of all that, you find yourself starting to circle the drain.
Faith has the potential to be a very enjoyable writer, as evidenced by my ability to enjoy this book despite all the flaws (listed and unlisted). I just wish she'd take a bit more time after the first draft to check things over... and maybe read a Robert B Parker book now and again to learn how to write dialog.
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