Book Review: The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich (1.5/5)

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Summary: Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are an unconventional couple and partners in crime: a poet and a slow-aging thief. As they wander to the Eastern edge of the world, they are swept onto an adventure that involves magic scrolls, gangs, the mythical dragons and their unborn child.

I really wanted to like this book. I really did. High fantasy with Eastern influence, threads of Chinese culture. A magical scroll. A poet and a thief as the main characters. The names Gaunt and Bone. It sounds like it could be something astounding, something breathtakingly fantastical.

The author’s writing style…Ahhh this tears me apart. On one hand, it’s very gorgeous, scattered with stunning figurative language and a distinct Eastern cultural influence. But, after reading a few pages, I felt like it was stilted in many places. It was not “fitting.” The author either rambled off into details/thought processes or did too much “telling.”

I could not lose myself into the world of this book; the writing style, alternative plotline and voice just weren’t for me. They kept distracting me. And…main point: the characters. I never got to know the true personalities of the characters. Their stories, especially that of Next-One-A-Girl (the name drew me in, nice touch), could have been heartbreakingly emotional. But they weren’t. They were all kind of flat.

The premise of the book seemed very intriguing. But I never got into the actually story. So much of it felt unbalanced. And it’s not because it’s for a younger age group. Apparently it’s marketed to “Mature Young Adult” on Litpick. I don’t know how other readers will find this book.

Remember, this review is just my own opinion.

***eBook provided by Litpick.com in exchange for my honest review

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Book Review: Earth Girl by Janet Edwards (3.5/5)

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Earth Girl, set hundreds of years in the future, offers a stunning vision of humanity’s future. We can regrow limbs, we have marvelous technology, and we have colonized many other planets. In a matter of seconds, we can transport between these planets in a matter of seconds through special portals…. All except for the taboo “apes,” humans who were born without the immune system needed to survive on other planets. They are abandoned at birth on Earth.

Confined to Earth and rejected by the majority of humanity, “ape” girl Jarra makes an impulsive and courageous decision upon turning 18. She’s fed up with the feelings of rejection that come with being an “ape.” And she’s going to prove that “apes” are just as human as everyone else.

Going undercover under a covert identity, Jarra begins attending a different school and pretends she’s normal. As she discovers more about herself and her classmates, her search for identity takes twists and turns. Weaving in elements of science fiction, a coming-of-age journey and romance, Edwards tells a compelling story.

Personally, I enjoyed reading Earth Girl. Edwards has built a fascinating vision of the future, perhaps with an undertone of warning about human disposition towards prejudice and judgment. The world building, characterization and action scenes were the strong points of Earth Girl. However, some of the plot turns seem less developed. In addition, there are areas where the author “tells” rather than “shows.” I felt like Earth Girl, being aimed at the teen audience, could have been more technical with regards to the science and technology elements. In many ways, the author simplified emotions, themes, and society. The novel could potentially have been much more than it is, and I can’t help but feel a little disappointed.

Overall, Earth Girl was a action-packed pageturner…with interesting futuristic curse words. But most of all, the message of Earth Girl is something I really appreciate. I recommend this book to the YA audience, even those who may not be solid science fiction readers. Although Earth Girl didn’t make my personal Favorites shelf, I will be on the lookout for Janet Edwards’ future writings! 3.5/5

***eBook courtesy of LitPick.com in exchange for my honest review