Monday, October 14, 2013

Asleep...[insert joke here]


Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I’ve never been so sad to not finish a book, but this was has dragged on for so long and I keep putting it down because the issues repeatedly pulled me out of the story. It wouldn’t be so hard if I didn’t love the premise, and he lead characters, but even that can’t save this story for me. The really sad part is a good editor could have fixed most of the problems.

The dialogue was repetitive, and seemed to flop between a formal and casual modern language. Or as I call it the Keanu Reeves effect. I get this is a fantasy, but the world presented to us is one of royalty and formality. So to have people fall into language that I could hear at my local Starbucks made it really hard to suspend my disbelief and stay engaged in the story.

There was a lot of telling over showing, where characters informed us of every nuance of their feelings, but didn’t really display any of them. I have a real hard time picturing anyone in the story. Scenes were often a few sparse details and big chunk of exposition. This is especially true of the numerous flashbacks we get in Dev’s half of the narrative, which were fun at first, but quickly became tiresome.

The story starts strong with prince Dev being kidnaped on the eve of his wedding to long time love, princess Jessmyn. While Dev struggles to stay conscious to figure out who took him and why, Jess works with their families to search for him. That’s all that happened for several chapters.

It’s like starting a story with a gunshot and spending a week looking for the bullet. Yes, it was interesting to get the back story and slow build of Jess and Dev’s romance, but I also wanted things to fucking happen in the main story. All I got was Dev sleeping, and Jess talking a lot with his brother. ZZZzzzzzzzzz

I’m sure the story picks up eventually, but it lost me so early on that I just can’t stick around to find out. Especially, when I have to wade through a lot of poorly edited writing and rambling narrative that should have been tightened up or cut all together. I am not an editor by any stretch of the imagination, which is why it’s even more frustrating to me that I found myself mentally critiquing this story, instead of enjoying it.

The really sad part is I loved Jess. She was a refreshing balance of strength and subtle femininity. Sure, she was a little cliche with the “I’m so uncomfortable in girl clothes” schtick, but I found it charming. I really liked the scenes between her and her parents, though some of the dialogue was really forced, but you could see how they raised a daughter more comfortable with a sword than a tiara.

Dev, when he was awake, charmed me too. I did enjoy how the flashbacks let us see the evolution of how this humble, loving man was once a spoiled, macho princeling. Seeing them as children was interesting, but again the dialogue was way too mature for kids their ages.

So there you are. I really wish I could have enjoyed this story more, and stuck with it, but it began to feel more like work than fun. Reading a good book should never feel like work.

1.5 stars

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