Sunday, July 8, 2018

Falling: An Angel in Disguise Book 1 by MK Lansbury

I love the idea of this story, but the execution fell short. The story is pitched as a romance but is really part romance, part murder mystery, part paranormal investigation, and part soap opera. None of the genres truly stand out as the main storyline. The novella has 10 chapters, which is not uncommon. The real disappointment is that each chapter is 3 pages, at most. The whole book can be read in an hour. The combination of the short format and the multiple genres makes the story feel rushed and unfinished. Although it doesn't end on a cliffhanger, there is no closure for any of the story arcs either. This is probably because the story is designed as book 1 in a series.

Teresa could be interesting and Gabe is mysterious, but neither character is very well developed. By the end of the story, the reader knows very little about either. The other characters are classic tropes with an unrealistic obviousness about their roles. Sudden epiphany is used to force characters to change their core personality to better fit the narrative. Plot hints are also obvious and leave nothing for the reader to guess about.

The story needed to be longer to fully develop the characters and give them time to work out the various issues. As it stands, it reads like a draft version of a novel that is still in the development stages. There is also a lack of content editing as some sections of the story literally make no sense. I love the concept for this book and truly believe that with a little more focus and editing the story could be really good.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Queen Victoria: From Beginning to End by Hourly History

The book is marketed as a 1-hour read that covers the entirety of Victoria's life. This isn't exactly accurate. First, Victoria was the longest reigning Monarch in England to date, which makes condensing her life into a 1-hour read impractical. The sheer amount of information covers more than 2 hours if there is to be any understanding of who she was. I was unable to read the entire thing in 1 hour and I average reading books with 30 chapters in less than 4. The problem has more to do with the way the content is presented than the actual length of the book. The content is broken up by the timeline of Victoria's life, but it also attempts to tell the story of that life. The rushed nature of the story left me feeling like this was a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. While my knowledge of the royal families history is admittedly limited, this left Victoria with no redeeming qualities at all.

It was ambitious to think that the full history of any monarch can be conveyed in an hour or less and this book is no exception. The actual facts and dates are lost, and the narrative plays out as a tragedy. The compressed data makes the story feel rushed and harsh. Additionally, the run-on sentences and poor editing do not help.