This is a very short tale about the owner of a cargo ship 'The Black-Eyed Susan' who runs into trouble with money lenders.
There's not a great deal of characterisation to go on, but I feel like a solid story could be made about The Black-Eyed Susan and its crew. Which I'm happy to say is just what J.A. Clement has done. This is book #0.3 of the On Dark Shores series. I have already read On Dark Shores: The Lady.
The emotional impact was missing from this, but I suppose it can be very difficult to pack a punch in a few pages.
If you like your sailor stories, this might be the first taste of something you'll enjoy devouring.
You know when you have a great idea, and you're really excited to explore that great idea, delve deep into it and have a poke around to see if it really is a great idea?! Well, sadly, I fear that Rudolf could have done a bit more digging and a bit more polishing of what he found.
The outline of the story is reasonable. In fact I'd argue that it's a rather ingenious idea, but alas the way in which it was executed fell far, far below the mark.
The main character, Richard, is a useless imbecile. He's not even funny when he thinks he's being funny. He's abrasive and immature and immediately put me off reading the story. The female characters also leave little to be desired, Mia is snarky and rude, Anna: a poster child for mental health issues managed poorly and don't even get me started on Richard's best friend...
The writing is stilted and repetitive to the nth degree. At several points in the book there's about 15 lines that start with the same few words. The same ideas and concepts are hashed and rehashed and driven so far into the reader's face it's almost as invasive as having your eyes examined by an optometrist.
The way in which society crumbled in the book seemed rather explosive, but not so far outside of the realm of possible that it wasn't believable, at least a little. If the writing were more palatable I might have allowed some of the other issues, but sadly all together this was a pretty average read. I'm quite glad it was a freebie.
I liked the idea, but loathed the execution of the book. I honestly couldn't recommend it, unless you wanted editing practice.
A few things I noticed:
36-37% pay phone is hyphenated in one instance and not in another.
57% - We walk(talk) about waiting on the couch...
92% - I can't breath(e) and I reach...
The year is 1643, and England is at the height of civil war. Families and towns have been torn apart by people taking different sides in the battle. Follow the King or the Parliament, your choice will dictate your path.
Deliverance and Penitence Felton (yeah I really didn't like their names!)
But soon enough I figured they were appropriate for the time period and let it go, especially when they started using shorter nicknames (Pen and Liv) at times.
The story was a typical Alison Stuart historical. Strong women in tough situations thrown together with hunky men and forced to deal with the situation together, even if they don't want to initially. The recipe is a good one, and it works in every one of Alison's books I've read.
I liked too, the dichotomy between Deliverance's stubbornness and Penitence's typically soft female role for that time. One is decisive and fiery (Liv), the other demure and wise in the ways of running a household (Pen), one is deeply in love (Pen) the other is aghast at the idea of needing a man (Liv). It really works well, and when twists and turns happen under the pressure of the besieging armed forces, the outcome is rather amusing.
I quite liked the first fiery scenes with Deliverance and the man sent by their father to protect their home, Captain Luke Collyer. The way in which they irritated each other was amusing.
The same sort of dichotomy could be seen in other supporting characters, and it was used well, if a little caricatured in the extremes. Add in a little intrigue and you've hooked me.
The heat level of this story is quite low. The intimate scenes are rather gentle and lovely, nothing too explicit. Certainly suitable for those who like sweet to moderate romance and sizzle-factor.
Ever read a book and really liked the plot, some of the characters, and the world, but were so let down by the overall finish of the book?
Everflame is that for me.
It has too many loose threads, appallingly bad editing and is rather long-winded.
I chose not to list all the editing errors in this book, because I felt that I'd remove myself from an otherwise interesting story. There were times that the typos and poor grammar really threw me out of the story, but for most of them, I was able to overlook them after a moment's agitation. It's a testament to how bad the grammar and spelling is, when it takes me 10 days to read a 260 page book.
The loose threads included many little things, but the worst was the bear culture that Evercloud enters as a small child. The bears very rarely act like bears. In fact, they speak and act more like humans than some of the human characters. I'd have liked to see greater use of the animalistic bear nature, as well as using some advanced technology.
The idea that a child raised by bears can then enter human civilization and actually pass for a human was amusing. Only in the clearly laughable and utterly unlikely way... I think that too many coincidences and good luck happened for Evercloud and his crew.
Also, the way in which the characters got higher powers was all too easy. Especially when it came to Evercloud and his crew. I really disliked how easy The Tyrant and his Messenger had it. I also wish that the break in the story to cover Edgar's childhood and development was like being doused in cold water. Things were just starting to get interesting with Evercloud and the reader is thrown into a new story (even though it does tie in with Evercloud's story - it's not immediately obvious).
Ultimately, there's a great idea here, but the execution of it was poor. I wouldn't bother paying for this, if you're intrigued, obtain it for free if possible. I won't be continuing with the series.