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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review for The Fire Within by Racquel Kechagias

I was provided a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review; as always, the writing below reflects my true opinion of the work.

Overall - 1.5/5. I must freely confess that I was unable to complete my read of this novel. Here is why:

Characters: 1/5. I didn't know who was saying what half the time and the voices of the characters were almost identical; there was little to no difference between how Anna spoke vs. how Victor spoke vs. anything else. Furthermore, the ENTIRE story was written in alternating first person POV, which is an interesting idea except that there is no "omniscient" description; most of the work is dialogue and inner monologue and, when there is no differentiation between character voices, this leads to a very inconvenient experience.

Plot: 3/5. While the plot is marred by the difficulty I had with the characters (described above), I think that there were good ideas in there. The idea of a vampire "fattening up" a soul by giving a piece of his own is interesting and I would have liked to see where it went.

Flow: 1/5. The constantly changing POV was jarring because it was not done well. The sentences, especially the dialogue, were circuitous and difficult to follow. I could not "settle" into this story, which is the primary reason I did not complete it.

Spelling/Grammar: 2.5/5. Barely acceptable. There weren't that many misspellings in the portion of the novel I read, but the grammar did not follow any literary conventions that I am aware of. I understand that conversation follows its own rules and can't be held to the strick dictates of an academic essay (after all, I am a writer), but...

Overall: 1.5/5. I cannot recommend this book for readers. For the author, have a look at Stephen King's On Writing and take some of his recommendations to heart. This book could have used more description, more passion in the writing, and several more edits. I wish you luck! Keep trying!

Jason P. Crawford

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