This review originally appears here: Sisters of Avalon: The Awakening - Review, as well as at Amazon.
So I stumbled across this book somewhere, not sure, may have been the first reads giveaway, but seeing as it was a new author, I thought I would give it try, as I am a self pub and indie supporter.
I know it's three stars, and that might be disappointing at first, but remember, 1,2,& 5 is almost impossible to get from me, so 3 and 4 is the norm.
Why three and not four?
I had issues with the book, not the type that made it hard to read, and had me dragging through it, but the type that were causing confusion in trying to understand what the author was trying to get across and why.
The beginning and end shared the same problem. They were both "rushed". In the beginning, the character(s) are being built at lightning speed, in a slap together sort of Frankenstein mode, grabbing details from everywhere possible to accelerate to the middle, leaving me trying to follow along with little back story to understand the main character, and supporting cast. By the time the middle of the book came, Airamett (The main character, what appeared to maybe be some sort of Protagonist) was a confusing jumble of ambiguity, and the supporting cast was not much more than just names.
Why do I think both were rushed? Because both had spelling and grammatical errors, where the middle of the book did not. I don't judge on spelling and grammar, even if it is just plain atrocious, because those who are self publishing are obviously on a budget most of the time, and to have money for an editor is really not a possibility if you are a budget author. Besides, its not that hard to figure out what word should have been there (it is quite the shock to get stopped in the middle of getting into the book, to have to try and figure out the mistake, but it is kinda fun to smile and figure out the little puzzle that the error presents itself as.)
In the beginning, Airamett sounds more like an adult pretending to be cool like a kid. You know how adults speak when they are trying to be cool like their kids, but they still inject their adult thought processes, and use the teen vernacular somewhat out of context? It is really awkward, and embarrassing when you say to yourself..."That's not how a teen would talk, she sounds more like her overbearing mother." realizing you must sound the same way to your children when you try to be their "friend".
When the middle arrived, I was finally able to take a breath, and enjoy the nice even pace of natural character and world building progression. The mechanical errors came to a screeching halt, the main character started becoming believable, and the supporting cast really jumped in and gave the story much more depth, and it all really brought the story to life, and made the read very enjoyable, I was engrossed. The author had achieved "Nirvana" with her work.
Then came the ending... Womp, womp, waaaaaaaaaa...... It was a four star book up until the final few chapters. Here we go again, character building at the speed of light, slapping parts together with no real rhyme or reason why. Airamett became a spoiled little tween snot for some reason. (No, love doesn't cause that much of a digression into tweendom, maybe some immaturity because of the experience of it, but de-evolving into a middle schooler..? Then the character building started to clone "Twilight", it was really annoying, mostly because I find Bella Swan annoying to begin with, only to see her now reappearing as Airamett, ugh, I wanted to bang my head when one character said to another as they were discussing vampires (the spelling with the "y" as opposed to the "i" is so corny and middle schoolish. Spell it right, this isn't trying to impress the emo and goth kids at recess.) and one said to the other... "This isn't the CW". I stopped and said out loud... "This isn't Twilight either pally..." Grayson? He is horribly unbelievable, nothing about his character is consistent except for his un believably, do yourself a favor, kill him off in the first chapter of book two, and let her go to Jareth. Speaking of Jareth, he is a much more believable vampire, and bravo for that character, he was consistent from beginning to end, I would suggest using him as a model for the foundation of other vampire characters. Dylan was very consistent as well, bravo on him. Now to the fighting in the end... Do you really need pages of repeated clawing and tearing while the little girl just sits screaming "No, Stop!" It started to feel like raising the word count was the idea behind all of the fighting in the final part of the book, far too much repetition of the description of fighting moves. I started skimming words, that was the final straw, there went the fourth star. When I start skimming sentences, its over, my interest is gone, and now it is just gathering what key information needed to get to the next page, which finding out Jareth's father was Greyson was far too late in coming. That should have come near the fight Greyson and Jareth had when Greyson called him "Boy". That quip would have been a great opportunity to bring in the fact they were Father and Son, not when they both magically pop up out of nowhere at the shack in the swamps in the end.
Was it a good book overall? Sure it was, it was pretty darn good actually. It had its faults, but overall it was the standard that I expect from first time self published authors. First time self pubs don't just turn into Twilight, or Divergent, or Harry Potter. Most of the time they are simply average good reads, and that is what this turned out to be.
I paid $8.99 at Amazon, it was your typical createspace book (they all have the same recognizable covers most of the time.) The cover and binding were solid, above average quality, that stood up well to folding pages, book bending, etc... The paper was good quality, the print was dark and clear, very nice publishing job for the price.
I am not sure if I would pay for book two in the series. Maybe If I talked to the author a few times, discussed book one, maybe I might pay for book two, but there would need to be some sort of explanation as to why the rush in beginning and end. Maybe she was trying to get it off the ground, rushed the start, felt relaxed and comfortable about the middle, then became pressed for time, or just got uneasy about closure, then fell into the same rush. Something is screwy in Savannah. (My number 6 Daughter's name is Savannah, can you guess if it I named her after the city? Here is a hint, her sisters names are Dixie, Georgia, Scarlett, and Delta. LOL)
The work was worthy of four stars, but it needs three so the author can see that she needs to look at number one, and try to see how she can better get number two into that four star category.