Saturday, 9 February 2013

Review - Lonely Souls (Witch Avenue Series, Book 1), Karice Bolton

It’s two weeks before Triss turns 18, and her world is about to change into the most magical one imaginable as she readies herself to enter The Witch Avenue Order... that is until her mother’s disappearance. Instead of celebrating her transformation, she finds herself spreading rose petals into her mother’s empty grave.

When Logan, her best friend from junior high, moves back to town for college, he vows to help her find the answers she so desperately seeks surrounding her mother’s disappearance. As they begin uncovering clues, it becomes apparent that the life of white magic they both grew up loving is not what the majority practices, and their lives are in danger.

With a haunting feeling that her mother may still be alive, she begins to hear a call to the wilderness. Triss realizes that in order to find the answers she needs, she must learn the ways of her ancestors and become the hunter, not the hunted before it’s too late, and she becomes part of the lonely souls.

This was the first book in a very, very long time that I considered giving up on. Had I not felt insanely guilty by doing so, I would have given up after about 25%.

I'm not really sure what I was expecting with Lonely Souls, but we've all established that I'm a huge cover whore so I was more than willing to give it a go. Given the name, it was a fair assumption that this would be a witch based YA book, which I was fine with, but I finished it feeling like it never really began.

The main reason I was set to give up on it was the writing (ignoring storyline and characters for now). The writing was a huge turn off for me. Not only was the language repetitive and not particularly advanced, I got the strong impression that Bolton has no idea how an 18 year old would talk. I cant count the amount of 'who talks like that?' moments I came across and I found it extremely difficult to associate with the characters in any way as a result of this. The dialogue was boring and wooden, giving away absolutely nothing about the characters, and the actual structure of it had me re-reading quite a lot of paragraphs so I could actually establish who was talking.

So, I wasnt getting off to a great start. Then I started evaluating the characters. Triss, for me, was a terrible protagonist. She had very little personality, to the point where I'm not entirely sure how to review her. There was just nothing about her. She was relatively whiny and her obsession with Logan completely detracted from the fact that her mother was missing, perhaps dead. She definitely played up to the helpless heroin stereotype, which is my ultimate pet peeve.

Logan wasn't any better. You could tell Bolton was trying to portray him as the good old YA bad-boy but it just didn't work at all. He wasn't smooth enough, there wasn't enough description of him to make me swoon, and his dialogue wasn't particularly witty or flirtatious. He returned Triss's obsession but it irritated me more with him as he was supposedly madly in love with her for the years they've been apart, blah blah blah. Yeah alright, what 18 year do you know that turns girls down for a chick he hasn't seen in 2 years?

The storyline was... well, I'm not quite sure what the storyline was because to me it just seemed like it was about Triss and Logan fighting their annoying teenage feelings of lust for each other. The foundations for a decent plot were all there but nothing was elaborated on enough to really grab you. I got to the end of the book wondering what the hell the last 290 pages were about and when the real action was going to kick in.

There were moments in the storyline that felt reminiscent of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series and once I found myself making that comparison, Lonely Souls was done for.

I think I've established from reading Lonely Souls that I don't like witch novels. Something about witches just doesn't do it for me, and once Logan whipped out a wand, I was out. Harry Potter was pushing it for me, and Clare only just got away with the Steele, but I'm sorry, wands are not cool.

When I come across books like this it's usually the action that helps me see them through, but in Lonely Souls there wasn't any (this is why wands suck, who can kick ass with a 5 inch stick?). There was one almost-fight-scene towards the end of the novel but it lasted all of 5 seconds and didn't have me white knuckled as other well written action scenes have me.

All in all, I just felt Lonely Souls was a weak book that seemed to have lost its way when it comes to plot and general purpose. I wont be reading any more of the series and I wont be recommending it. Because I hate giving 1 star I'm going to give it a 2 out of 5.

1 comment:

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