Quick & Dirty:
-Blunt characters and story
-Simplistic writing with overly enthusiastic vocabulary.
-Too much "story" not enough "doing".
-It seems like the author is still having trouble finding her style and conforming it to fit her audience.
Long & Wordy:
Get comfy, here's the long version:
MAY CONTAINS SPOILERS***
(the worst is at the end)
First of all I found the complete lack of dialog between the characters just added to the frustration I didn't count how long the droughts of dialog went for but I'm pretty sure some lasted pages. I felt like most of the book was made of "info dumps" where she painstakingly describes (almost) all the details of the scenes and characters which changed often. This isn't restricted just to scenery she also has frequent ramblings from the main character where she will either do a review of everything that's happened, question everything going on, or fully explain exactly what she's feeling. But she doesn't explain the vocabulary she throws in there. I feel like she got a little excited with a thesaurus. Examples of some vocab are besieged, malicious, abomination, gluttonous, beleaguered, eviscerated etc. These (might just be me...) seem above a pre-teens level and should have at least included some context clues.
Got that? Ok, let me give an example that shows a lot of my problems:
"David is a bad guy...I need to find out what's going on.
I need to tell someone. Oh, my head hurts, must be
from all that powder of whatever they gave me. I have
to be smart and careful about what I do now.
I'm at their mercy."
Put on your big girl panties, this might get a little mean. Ready? K, here goes.
1. If David is such a malicious abomination (not EXACTLY how he's described, those are words she used elsewhere) then why does she need to have a look into her head to tell us "he's bad"?
2. Why does she need to tell us that the main character doesn't know what's going on!!?!? Done.
3. "all that powder of whatever" has already been named twice, once by her and once by David as a paralyzing powder. Name it, then own it. If the author can't own her writing why do we have to swallow it?
...ok that was kinda mean huh? sorry, moving on.
4. Annastaysia, we're at your mercy. Please be kind and let readers think for themselves, let them SEE her at their mercy, SHOW her being careful, don't tell us how to feel.
Enough beating on that paragraph but do you see what I mean about info dumps, monologues, bluntness, lack of trust in the reader....
Note on witches and magik: I just didn't have anywhere better to squeeze this in. Modern witches are having a bit of an identity crisis, part of the issue is that they are trying to separate themselves from mythical witches. Yes, I'm talking about religious witches who are afraid to call themselves witches. One way they have been separating themselves is by using magik to refer to their magik and magic to refer to....well this kind of magic. Fake, imaginary. I am not a witch but I feel like this is trampling all over their efforts, and don't even get me started on the Malleus Maleficarum and "Who really wrote the book and what this book's intended use was is still up for discussion to this day". If you can handle another rant feel free to ask, I might even add a link to copy of it so you can read it. It's just....horrible.
Moving on. One thing that really REALLY REALLY made me crazy was her completely awkward sentences. One PERFECT example of this is when Sadie our main character, 13 years old, modern girl, says "They'll not see my fear, the disgusting things." I'm SURE I said this when I was 13....yeah, right.
She seemed to do this through the book.
What really makes this...well just silly is that she uses phrases like "When Sadie realized to whom she was yelling" like it's going to be graded by an English teacher, if you're writing to the general public you can nix the "to whom" and simply use who/at. And really why is it necessary to use "to whom" but right afterwards she used "We got to". All or nothing. Try this: It is of the utmost dire importance that...that I get off this soap box.
Still on a bit of a linguistic rant I need to tear apart one of her characters' dialogue, she has a character in one paragraph use thou, thine, and MY....really my? Tis mine right to rant, and thoust must listenith. Fake "Olde English" (actual old English :Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum). Why couldn't she at least be consistent with the "Olde English"? MY. Still can't handle that one....
Off the official linguistic rant and onto, well...this "My captors must be the most vicious men on the planet to torture a poor little creature.....Maybe it's just 'cause he was good and they are bad. It happens in the human world..."
(Ignoring the " 'cause"...)
Is she trying to say most of the Middle East is "bad" and that they want to torture all of us? It's because we're so good? Political implications aside, this just seems to be a bit of a superiority complex problem.
Them --> US --> Where she thinks her writing is
Basically these things just really rub me the wrong way, with her grammar and words she is putting herself and "her kind" above others.
** Kids, if you happen to be reading this here's an important lesson: the reason we have wars is because everyone thinks they are right. And they're willing to fight to prove it. Be accepting, save the world. Honestly don't bash people because they don't use "perfect" English, don't insult peoples' beliefs, and be willing to stand up for your own beliefs but not fight over them. People will always think differently and some people ENJOY making fights over ideals, it doesn't make ANYTHING better.**
SUPER SPOILER AHEAD
I hope you hate your stories being ruined, you're one of those people that just flips to the last page aren't you? Cheater. Or you read the book and can't wait to bash me at the end, bring it, I ignore you then delete your post, jk. Really though try and be semi-P.C. kiddies might read this. Kiddies like me.
Ok, if you're still here you're getting it.
This is one of those sentences that just....well let's just say it's not one of a kind. It's blunt, might hurt a little, brace yourself....
"I am THE MASTER, soon to be the Master of All, this world, the magikal realm, and all the realms if I feel the need. A measly little girl such as the likes of you will never best me. You will give me the Ataraxia Heart, or I will do to you what I did to your mother.
(The mention of her mother made Sadie's stomach lurch.)
"I see that manipulating from behind the scenes is not working--sending an imp to do a man's job and so on."
yeah and so on
I just...don't know what to say. I am at a loss for words, and after everything I've said...maybe that's it, I've been too long winded.
Let me wrap this up, I try to write really honestly and, well I honestly didn't finish this book, I just couldn't finish reading through it. I felt bad writing this but I saw other positive reviews on the site and decided
1. no one is going to listen to me because just another dissenter
2. I could be honest because I felt others fluffed up their comments
3. I think that if you're going to do something like write or be a leader or throw yourself out to the masses, you need some negative input to help improve yourself.