Sooo! With the end of the A2Z Challenge we’re all back to normal. Just to let you know, posts will continue to go up around 7am from myself and Raven from now on (she’s decided that there’s a more interesting crowd in the am rather than the pm *shrugs*)
I’ll post Mondays and the 1st and 3rd Saturday. Raven will post Thursday and the 2nd and 4th Saturday. We’ll fight between us over who gets the 5th Saturday as and when that comes up.
Also, because we’re both so behind with our book reviews, the next few posts from us are likely to be catch up posts, getting us up to date with posting them. Hope that’s all right with you guys!
Right… let’s go.
Author: E Perkins
Title: 7 of 7 A Modern Day Fairy Tale
Genre: Um… o.O Fantasy?
‘A father who is driven by an obsession that he is destined to create a powerful and wealthy dynasty of seventh sons casts out an incredibly beautiful daughter and a talented eighth son. While these children are the key to the fairy tale, they are not the threat to the father’s empire. So who is?’
Later this month I’ll be talking about my reluctance to review books I don’t enjoy. It seems counter productive and cruel on some levels. But this is the challenge I set myself and this is the book I read in March, so I’m going to review it.
The cover coaxed me in. That’s good because it did it’s job. The silhouettes of seven men in a line of receding perspective was excellent and I really enjoyed the simplicity of it. The text is bold, strong and clear though the ‘Modern Day Fairy Tale’ part reads more like a subtitle rather than part of the main title. That’s my only complaint really, hence the half star docked.
I’m going to be blunt; I have no idea what the story was.
Yes, I know what happened, but that’s somewhat different to being able to sum up the story in a few lines like I would usually.
Jacob V has eight sons. As he himself is the seventh son of a seventh son, his aim was to father seven sons (and a single daughter) of his own and through doing so, create a race of ‘super humans.’ However the eighth son blows out all of these plans and, as a result, is locked away in a section of the house and largely forgotten about. Similarly the mother is locked away with a second daughter as punishment for ruining his plans; they are all ‘evil’ and working against him.
Right. With you so far.
The eight son, Jeremy, discovers a network of tunnels (venting system?) out of his room which allows him to explore the house and by doing so eventually learns of the rest of his family and his imprisoned mother and sister Jena. He builds a warm relationship with them both until Jacob V learns of it and has the mother killed and both kids booted from his house.
Still with you.
But then it just got wieeeeerd! Leaving behind the perfectly interesting story of the radical father and his rather kooky plans, to follow the two outcast kids. And nothing they did had any impact at all on the father. Not really. Highlight blank space below for the spoiler:
Instead these two go off, live their lives and the real problem is back in the house with Jacob V’s seventh son (Jacob VI) and his seventh son (Jacob VII). Confused yet? This kid with his psychic abilities who can speak to his aunt and his father telepathically and whisper messages to them across thousands of miles, blah, blah, blah. o.O
It feels like this book was a means to talk as many forms of abuse as possible and pile each one on the heads of two people. While I enjoy the study of different personality types responding to difficult emotional, physical and spiritual trials, none of it felt real. It was too big, too overblown, over done. And there didn’t seem to be any real consequences for all the bad stuff. I’m a big advocate of ‘write what you want‘ but I do feel that if you’re going to write incest into a book (which was also rape) there needs to be some sort of consequence for the perpetrator (and no, that’s not a spoiler, it’s in the extended Smashwords blurb for the book).
I also feel like there was so much story to tell that there needed to be more than 60k words to do it in. Or, at the very least, huge chunks of the beginning could have been skipped to make space for explaining (more satisfactorily) the things which happen in the last third of the book. As it is, a lot of it feels to come from nowhere and, even for a fantasy novel, isn’t very credible.
Jena and Jeremy feel like cardboard cut outs of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ people mashed together with a (too large) cast of other stereotypes; the lazy rich kid, the kind and loving nun, the sadistic nun with a chip on her shoulder, the owner of a gentleman’s club who really isn’t a bad guy after all, even the ‘special kid’ with learning difficulties who comes out of his shell when treated right. And those are just a few.
I also understand why all of Jacob V’s kids had names beginning with ‘J’ but it became very hard to keep up. And then outside the family were more names beginning with ‘J.’ By the end I had a very hard time just keeping up with who was who, which led to lots of going back and re-reading lines. This reinforces the thought that the characters aren’t real enough; if they were, similarities in names would have made no difference because personalities would have leapt off the (digital) page with actions and dialogue.
Unfortunately, I was far too distracted trying to figure out what was going on to enjoy this book. It is riddled with typos and grammatical issues and while the formatting is very clean and thorough; the whole thing needs an edit. Structural and content.
Average across all scores comes to 2.125 stars.
I feel like there was so much potential in this book to be awesome. The start, though slow, was really promising, but then it just went off on a bizarre tangent and never really recovered until the end when the happenings back with the father were brought back in as an afterthought. Which makes you wonder… if the ‘real story’ was back in the house, why were there thousands of words dedicated to Jena and Jeremy?
Short answer: no idea.