Jeff Overstreet - Auralia's Colors
I am sorry Jeff. I really tried to like your book more than I did. I really wanted to like it more. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Was it a decently written book? Yes. Was it a better than average written first book? I'd say so. Will I read the next book? Sadly, I am a huge book snob. I am also a writer. So I tend to look at many books I read as a writer. I can recognize brilliant writing and praise it, but I also become very critical when I see things being done in the same old way. First for the positive:
1) I was entertained. It kept my attention and wanted me to finish the book. I didn't feel pissed off after i read it. I didn't feel like I got ripped off from buying the book. I was entertained. I kind of hope it'll be optioned for a movie.
2) A few parts of the book caught me by suprise. Anytime I can read a book and say to myself "Didn't see that coming" is a good thing and doesn't happen all that much.
Now the negative:
1) I felt like I read the story before. I don't see this as him trying to rip a story off, but I do see a lot of fantasy writers taking the same story and re-telling it. The nobody who is secretly meant for greatness. The tirent imposing his will on the lessers. Etc. The characters were of a typical archtype and I am getting a little bored with it. This is why I rarely read sci-fi or fantasy anymore because I know what to expect. The minute they say someone has disapeared from a time long ago you know sooner or later that person will show up eventually.
2) A friend of mine and I used to have a description for anything we read where it felt like a lot of hands had gotten into a piece of work and the language felt unnatural or over stated. We called it workshopped. We'd share a poem we read of someone elses and ask, "Is it just me or does that poem/story/whatever feel workshopped to you?" So many of metaphors felt overboard that it detracted from the story. They were almost too poetic to feel like they came from the authors true voice. And the cleverness of the creatures (fangbear, wyrm, vawn, etc.) was a bit much. Especially when I wasn't given an adequate description of them.
As I said Jeff, I like you and what you are trying to do. For a first book it's well done. Please keep writing. I think ultimately your work will become actualized.