Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book Review - Advent (JS)

Advent by James Treadwell
This book was suggested to me on the Kindle as a special offer, it was cheap, and the story line sounded interesting, so I thought what could be the risk?
Review by Jacqui Slaney
This is the description:
For centuries it has been locked away Lost beneath the sea Warded from earth, air, water, fire, spirits, thought and sight. But now magic is rising to the world once more. And a boy called Gavin, who thinks only that he is a city kid with parents who hate him, and knows only that he sees things no one else will believe, is boarding a train, alone, to Cornwall. When he arrives, there is no one there to meet him.
Now I started the book with high hopes, as it seemed this was the ideal one for me. There was magic, creatures that are not seen by anyone apart from a teenage boy, and a sub plot of an ancient mage in love with a mysterious stranger.
About a hundred pages later, I was struggling. All the elements for a good book were there, but they just did not seem to gel. I thought at first, it was the fact the lead character was a teenager, but as I read on, I found myself discounting that.
Gavin was a good character, yes, he was slightly irritating as he kept pretending there was nothing strange going on, but the reader is sympathetic towards him as he only does this in self-defence. I liked Marina- though the name kept making me think of the old puppet series of Stingray. Hester is a great character and Corbo was one of my favourites, in fact, all the characters are solid.
So I struggled on, tempted to give up, but a stubborn streak kept me reading on. Then something strange happened, without me realising, I started to actually enjoy the story.
I realised that the main problem with the book at the start was there was just too much information, too much description and though there was great phrasing and lovely descriptions it slowed the whole thing down to the extent that I could see many readers giving up before the story improved.
As a would be writer myself, this was a good wake up call as it shows the damage that can be done, if you get carried away with describing a scene.
I can understand why the book is written like this, it is the first in a series and the author is stuck in a bit of a quandary, as obviously you need to set the scene and introduce your main antagonists and grab the reader’s attention.
In this book though, I think it could have been done with a lighter touch as everyone seemed to come into the story very early on, and the whole plot just bogged down.
From half way through, it is a great story, as things about the characters become clear, the pace of the writing becomes much more urgent and even the descriptions are much more to the point, the sudden onset of winter in Cornwall is brilliantly described.
Would I read book 2? Well based on the second part of this book, definitely, the ending of this one was nicely done with numerous possibilities of things that could happen. Just hope that the lessons learned from the first part of this one have been learnt.
7 out of 10