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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Daemons In The Mist

So. I'd heard about this book. It's self published, and a self published author I really love recommended it. Highly. Like, a "Oh-my-gosh-this-book-is-so-good" recommendation. And my computer had this kindle thing on it now, so I can buy e-books for cheap and read them immediately. (Instant gratification is so awesome.) And I was like, it's less than $3! I'm going to finally buy this book and read it! And I bought the e-book.

It was awful.

I hate writing bad reviews. I have almost no bad reviews on this blog - I love to talk about books I love! Or at least like a little bit. Or that have redeeming characteristics. And this book? There are so many glowing reviews, I feel like I HAVE to talk about it.

Where to start? Let's begin with . . .


It wasn't all bad. There's the cover:

And this picture, which the author created from a scene in the book:

And the idea:
A high school girl and boy go to Vegas and accidently get married. Because the girl is a daemon, and daemons have all kinds of different rules and such, they're stuck together.
 The execution. The writing was often clumsy, and it felt underdeveloped. The dialogue frequently sounded fake. The descriptions were over the top and I found myself skimming through most of it. There were many clichés in the writing that gave it an amateurish feel, overall.
Take, for instance, this scene:
The smile disappeared from Shawn’s face as he looked past me. “Loraly, what’s wrong?”
“Patrick thinks we’re scary,” she almost sobbed.
Oh fuck, that’s why she had looked so upset. She probably thought I thought they were monsters. “Oh no, that’s not what I meant at all!” I said quickly. “It’s not because of what you are. That doesn’t bother me in the least, it’s kinda cool really. It’s just, you’re her parents and well, I was terrified to death you would hate me.”
Or, really, the lack of romance. A huge part of the story is that Nualla and Patrick are in love - Nualla's beautiful and nice, and Patrick? Well. Patrick isn't really a great catch. He's often dazed and confused - honestly, to me, he came across as rather slow and really young. To top it off, Patrick is a very self depreciating narrator. Here are some excerpts from the scene when Patrick meets Nualla's family for the first time: 
“Um…” I said like an idiot. Her hostility had caught me off-guard and the clever things I had rehearsed to say flew out the window. Great, I was making a wonderful impression already. I had hoped to impress them, or at the very least make sure they didn’t hate me. But that was already falling apart and I had only said one word, if you could even call it that.
I was relieved when I saw Nualla’s Aunt Skye pop up behind the girl whose name was apparently Andraya. “Hello, Ms. Varris,” I said with an uneasy smile.
“Oh Patrick honey, call me Skye. You make me sound ancient calling me that.”
“Oh sorry— Skye…” I said nervously. Great, I hadn’t even made it in the door yet and I was already going down in flames.
I swallowed hard; now to make a good impression. “Hello, Mr. Galathea, I’m Patrick Connolly, your daughter’s—” somehow I couldn’t get the word out.
My brain screeched to a halt. Had he actually just said I was part of his family?
“I don’t have any pets,” I said like an idiot. “I mean I like animals— I just don’t have any.”
I get what the author is trying to do. She's trying to show Patrick's unease in the situation. But he's so self deprecating, he fumbles so much . . . and this happens all the time. Really, it just makes him seem timid and slow, not cute or romantic.
There's no chemistry. There's no moments when I think to myself, "Aw! They're so cute together!" Most of the story is Patrick alternating between feeling so lucky he accidently married his long time crush, and being awkward in situations with Nualla and her friends and family.
Oh, and remember this picture?
 It's way more romantic than the actual scene in the book.
Most of the story is "love story." There are a few sporadic hints thrown around this story that end up being really important later, except, the foreshadowing is so sparse and random, that it literally feels like it's just there to justify the ending. Like, there's this ONE LINE saying this ONE THING so now the plot is totally legitimate, and not out of place. Because there's this ONE LINE.
but he doesn't. Or at least, we never see him use it.
I won't spoil you, but there a lot of things that are just way too convenient.
All in all . . .
This story has so much potential to be awesome. But unfortunately, there are just too many problems for it to work for me.

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