Today I want to cover a few minor-minor-minor things that could be improved in the book.
Yesterday’s review was over-the-top-excellent, so today I want to balance it out a wee little bit. Okay, so it won’t balance it out—the book is that good.
Anyway, here are my thoughts, and remember, there may be some plot spoilers below. Click to read on.
The Number of Main Characters
Seven main characters? Before I read that book I thought it was a bit much. When I read the book, I was able to keep track, but it was a bit hard here and there, especially regarding the “extras” around the main characters.
When you spread out the feelings of concern too thinly, its hard to be fully engaged. Most novels only have one main character, so this was a stretch.
My thought is that reducing it to say, five, or even three, would have heightened the drama by allowing us to focus on each one in greater detail. A lot of the action had to be skipped for many of them just to keep the book a publishable size.
The History Of Berinfell
For me, once the Elven Lords were dead and the babes taken, I didn’t care to follow the action quite so much. It would have been more exciting to show in detail the Elven Lord battle, and have that happen near the end of the history presentation.
As it was I read the whole history, but to be honest, I wanted to skip a lot of it.
I just didn’t see the point … what did the little skirmishes really matter in the big picture. Yes, they saved lives by causing a diversion, but that could have been covered very quickly.
I wanted to get back to Earth and the peril the teenagers were going through.
“Incredibly Difficult” to “Incredibly Easy”
Sometimes it seemed impossible to fight against the Drefids. For instance, Kat nearly died trying to get to her house, but once they made it past a rock wall, somehow they were safe? Why were they safe in the house? How did they ever leave the house, get to an airport, and leave? Their car was completely wrecked, and Drefids guarded the road.
Maybe if they had killed the Drefids I would have understood. Maybe the editors cut that part!
Anyway … the difficult battles were written well, but it made me wonder how and why it got easy after that.
The Battle At Dalhousie Castle
The battle was great. Well written, but two things didn’t make sense. How could 200+ Elven sentinals (A) not be prepared with weapons at all times, and (B) not realize the enemy might attack them in force before they went through the portal.
Also, arc-rifles were used at the beginning, but then they weren’t used anymore. This was convenient, and allowed Kiri Lee to walk above the crowd dropping weapons. A single arc-rifle would have taken her out. Even a bow of some sort.
Another thing — I am confused about the spiders. Many spider here on earth can jump fifty times their height. If that spider were scaled upwards, they could have easily jumped on Kiri Lee and taken her down. Seemed like they were tamed down a bit.
But It’s All Right
Now I’m going to backup and say that all the above criticisms are not serious. As a young adult novel, most of these issues are moot. As an adult and fellow-fiction writer (albeit unpublished), I read with a very critical eye.
Also, I see all the same faults in my own writing. For instance, I’m working up a battle scene right now, and it is REALLY tempting to orchestrate things so the battle goes the way I want it to go. Every author does this, but the trick is to do it in such a way that it is completely invisible to the reader.
Wayne and Chris … you two did a GREAT job writing this novel. My hat is off to you.
Come back tomorrow for Day 3, where I cover the spiritual content of the book.
Endurance and Victory!