storytimewithbuffy

The Ritual

In Book Reviews on June 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

The Ritual

I feel that I have to tell you something about myself before I tell you my thoughts on this book. I hate romance books. I really do. I went through a rebellious stage of my life when my parents told me not to read them. This, of course, ensured that I would. My taste in books has changed over the years and since I started writing I’ve learned to read with a very critical eye. Story, characterisation and motivation are all very important things to me and I’ve read very few romance books which embrace those elements in a way which holds my interest.

I’m certainly not opposed to a bit of romance or even sex in a story. I just don’t like it when they dominate the story.

Love makes people stupid (in real life too). People make decisions that they wouldn’t make if their brains hadn’t turned to mush. I definitely had mushy brains when I met my husband, but I certainly wouldn’t make people sit through pages of description detailing my every little thought.

I don’t like it when everything in a story exists purely to drive forward the romantic entanglement. It’s usually pretty formulaic. Girl meets boy, they hate each other instantly but by chapter 7 they’re in bed. Then it all goes wrong, somebody saves someone’s life and they live happily ever after. Usually these types of books are riddled with angst-ridden thoughts of the protagonist. “Does he like me? Why won’t he be nice to me? Why won’t he tell me his feelings?” I find it all very cloying. I’m a woman of action. I want interesting things to happen. I don’t want to read pages and pages of details of the best orgasms these characters have ever had.

So, now you know.

I bet you think that I’m telling you all of this because I’m going to say some really horrible things about this book but am just trying to soften it. Shame on you. I would only write a negative blog post if the book was offensive. I’m actually telling you this so that you can understand why I only liked this book rather than loved it.

Nutshell blurb: Twin sisters Rin and Shani meet twin brothers Zash and Mior and embark on an adventure to find items for a mysterious ritual.

The writing in this novel is superb. I was actually shocked to find out that this was Miss Dakin’s first book. She clearly has a love for words and uses them effectively. I felt that the copious use of the f-bomb was a bit much, but perhaps that’s just my personal preference.

People who self-publish frequently get a bad rap. I’ve read quite a few self-published novels and in many cases I’ve noticed that the content is good but the delivery is clumsy. That is definitely not the case with this book. Flawless sentence structure and no typos. The writing was clear, concise and elegant.

This author also has some mad world-building skills. She created a believable world which had enough detail to be authentic but not so much as to be confusing. This is a very delicate balance which is difficult to get right. But she nailed it. The world contains humans, elves and half elves. The protagonist was a half elf who are considered the lowest of the low (which kind of made me think of Dragon Age, for those of you gamers out there).

I would really love to see this author write a story which focuses more on the fantasy aspect than the romantic one. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for her other work as I think that she’s quite talented.

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  1. I love this review. It says whether or not it will be a good read and that’s the main point of a review. I really like the “Nutshell Blurb”, allows the reader to decide how much more they need.

  2. I’m not sure she’ll ever get away from the romance angle, but she’ll be happy to know you liked her world-building (and I’m glad to hear that you found nothing wrong in the editing department).

    • Well, taste is subjective. She should definitely keep writing what she likes. She asked for an honest review, so I felt that I had to explain why I thought what I thought.

      Sooooo, did you edit her book because you’re friends or do you freelance? I might be in need of some excellent editing assistance once I’m further along in my writing. I’m nowhere near that stage yet, but I’m putting out feelers.

      • We’ve been friends for a long time, but if you write fantasy (or something similar), I’d be happy to look it over. I love editing, and not a lot of my writer-type friends are far enough along in their work for me to peruse.

      • Thank you! I might take you up on that. Likewise, I too enjoy editing so if you’d ever like me to cast an eye over anything Is be happy to.

      • If you get a chance to read my first book and don’t recoil in horror, I might have to draft you into beta work for the rest. Muhahahahaa. Ahem.

      • Haha! I’ll have to check it out. πŸ™‚

  3. First things first: Check out Hillary’s book, because it’s awesome, and it hasn’t got a shred of romance in it. Seriously – if you think I’m good, she’s much, much better.
    Secondly, thank you so much for the positive words – I’ll be replying to your e-mail in depth later, but I just wanted you to know that I really appreciate all the comments. There’s just one thing I’d like to get out in the open, and that’s what Hillary has already said – I am simply incapable of writing anything that isn’t romance. Don’t think I haven’t tried, but it just always floats back to it. As such, rather than trying to fight it, I’ve embraced it. The usual adage is ‘write what you want to read’, but for me it’s also ‘write what you’re good at, especially if you’re crap at writing anything else’.
    Thanks again!

    • I definitely want to check out her book. I’m intrigued by the amount of detail she is putting into her current project. I love details!

      You should certainly keep writing what you love. You’re very good at it. My dislike of books which feature romance as the main thing is purely a matter of taste. πŸ™‚

      Hope you had a great holiday!

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