This post will probably be shorter than usual as I’m writing the entire thing on my new Kindle. Rather insane, I must admit, but it links in well with the topic of the post. Also, I can’t be bothered to clear enough of my floor to be able to get to my computer…laziness, I know!
Today, I am going to review an e-book that I just finished reading. It’s not the first e-book I’ve finished but it’s the first indie book I’ve read all the way through – the other I finished was a kindle edition of a hardback.
The book was called Anathema. It’s by an author called Megg Jensen (did I get that right?).
Now, I must admit it didn’t sound promising. I mean, the whole slave girl / significant birthday opening has been done a lot of times, and when people with powers start coming into it, it’s rather obvious that this main character slave-girl is going to find out she’s gifted too. Because that’s generally how fiction works: stuff happens to the MC.
But Mark recommended it to me, and I need to start reading indie books, and I’m too ill to do anything much useful, so I decided to give it a go.
Mark also asked if I could review it and although he didn’t specify that using a Kindle was required, I decided it was. Because I’m just that sad and just that bored.
First of all, quality. Because with indie books there are a lot of concerns about quality given the reduced number of processes between writing and publication, and it’s up to unbiased sources *cough* such as myself to reassure you. So yeah, Anathema was pretty well written. There were a few little errors, a few phrases I didn’t like (I’m English, we’re fussy) and a couple of dodgy formatting patches with unexpected line breaks, but other than that, fine. I’ve seen much worse from traditionally published authors. Much, much worse.
Plot. Storywise, I won’t give too much away in case you were planning to read it. There were some areas I guessed quite easily, such as the whole gifted thing and a certain character’s identity later on, but there were also a few things that surprised me, like the master’s interest in Reychel actually having a non-creepy reason behind it. Looking back, I possibly should have seen that coming. So it wasn’t the most unpredictable of plots, but it held a few surprises in store which was nice.
Characters. Here, again, I’m hard to please. I did care about Reychel, despite her oddly spelt name. I felt her confusion over Mark and the way it hurts to be let down my friends, as I’ve felt it myself in the not-too-distant past. That’s the main hint that it’s a YA book, in my opinion – well, apart from the fact the MC is 15, obviously. However, I wasn’t keen on Ivy, and not in the way that the reader is meant to dislike her. She annoyed me. She just wanted power and revenge: there was no particular, human goal that made us have even the slightest sympathy for her.
I did enjoy the book. Though it won’t go on my favourites list at this stage, I would recommend it if I knew anyone of my age with a Kindle (I don’t). I wouldn’t quite give it five stars, but it’s not far off. And I’ll probably buy the next one, because I’ve got a few questions left to be answered.
Definitely not the ‘crap’ people were predicting would flood the market when indie publishing got big, and something to look into if you’re a fan of…well, I suppose fantasy, though that doesn’t seem quite right. If you’ve read “The Gift” by Alison Croggan(there are four in that series, if it rings any bells?) you’d probably like this. Plus it’s shorter than those, always a benefit.
I’ll stop here. This is quite long enough for a review written on a Kindle keyboard. Hey, did I mention that this is the most amazing piece of technology ever? Buy one.
***What I’m reading***
I’ve got a choice with this Kindle of mine! I think next I will read Wearing The Cape, another of Mark’s recommendations. If I feel up to it, I might review that, too.