The book came with the newsletters which I requested immediately after it showed up in my email.
Since I like being honest when I’m reading a book… I am truly disappointed with the book.
I really do hope the ARC was a proof copy since there was a lot of inconsistencies with the dialogues, characterization, fluidity and the formatting. I hope it will be rectified in the final copy which I will purchase the final book since I really do think the author is a good writer.
I like that the story was a reinterpretation of the Roanoke Island’s legend. But because it is a young adult book, the author is trying to make small references to pop culture, ie; to CW and SyFy watching younger crowd. I had the most disturbing premonition that the book was trying to be CW’s Supernatural. And…. around 70%… it is Supernatural season 5.
Well, if you followed my twitter account in my bilingualism (or rojakism in the ways of Malaysian’s Mangled English and Malay), I really am a Firefly, The Vampire Diaries and was a Supernatural fan (whole thing should have stopped at season 5). But I think it was way more interesting if the author had hinted some of the main description of the tv series instead of depending on the readers to get the joke. I’m not bothered with Battlestar Galactica ‘curse’ words which some people might be bothered but I was confused why the characters discussing about The Vampire Diaries in several pages when I am the one who should be discussing about The Vampire Diaries and the book if I wanted to. And frankly, although there’s always the mention Roswell in reference to a mad doctor but for most part, I find the book was guilty of fillers. The other books with overuse of pop culture was reminiscence of PC Cast’s The House of Night… but I really don’t think its necessary.
The setting and the story was based on an urban legend that even I was interested in. Frankly, the whole Croatoan made me remember Supernatural…
The whole body snatching thing. The hearing voice thing. It started to sound a bit more like Supernatural fan fiction (without the two bros) when Miranda’s father were missing and found dead.
Since I’m a biochemist, generally, I like every mention of alchemy.
But I really do not think the execution was intended in a way that was natural for the readers. Some parts which should have been elaborate were really obscure to maintain the mysteriousness of the plot. There’s also the whole meatsuit thing which is very predictable after the whole Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries mentions.
The characterization is quite problematic since for most of the time, we read via Miranda and Phillips interchangeable POVs that they contradicted each other. I know it’s a good way to be “in character” for the main protagonist characters but it would have been better if the author just write in Phillips’s POV through the whole book and kept on with the observation on Miranda which I find her to be quite bland between the POV scenes.
The story progression and climax are uninteresting and dragging but not enough to make me quit the book so I held hope … but as I reach a quarter to the finale of the book, I just felt utter disappointment. I don’t even know how to respond to this book when I began to see some parts to be fan fiction and the dialogue to be screenplay-like.
I’m sorry but I sincerely thought that the author should have ignored the young adult genre and just get on with the flow of the story. I’d want to read more from Gwenda Bond since I really like the researching she did for her stories, the whole idea of cultish phenomenon surrounding causing the supernaturalism activity of the island, which is far more interesting than the whole bad boy persona, prison break, Shakespearean play, tv series tribute etc which is very predictable.
The book will be distributed on September 4th 2012 by Strange Chemistry. Personally, I would recommend it to those younger teens (despite the characters themselves nearing eighteen) who like paranormal YA with a slight romance and if you’re fine with accepting the Supernatural-like storylines.