Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: Winter Shadows by Casey Bond

Winter ShadowsWinter Shadows by Casey Bond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

- I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This review is painful for me to write because I always try to be as nice as possible to authors, especially new ones. But, I just could not get into Winter Shadows. There was nothing to grab me, not the heroine, not the hero (either one), and none of the secondary characters. Claire is bland and one-dimensional and I can't tell the two "heroes" apart half of the time, their personalities are so similar. I understand she's trying to write Christian speculative fiction, but the message, whatever it might be, gets lost because she lacks skill.

Had her writing been more active, I might have actually invested emotionally in the story, but truthfully, she needs writing lessons. Either from a college or just by picking up books on writing from the library. Her passion is there, but her skill falls sadly short. I hope before Casey attempts a second book that she takes the time to train herself. Writing is a craft, like any other, and it requires honing. Passion alone doesn't cut it. Working on her writing skills is the first step she needs to take, doing both herself and her readership a huge favor.

5 comments:

  1. This is a really refreshing review! It sometimes seems that bloggers either feel obligated to write cheery, positive reviews, or that they delight in ripping books apart. Your review here is thoughtful and reasonable, and as a newer reader of your blog, I appreciate it especially much because now I know your enthusiastic reviews are not inflated by a need to be ever-positive.

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    1. Thanks! I try to be honest with my reviews without ripping the authors apart too badly. I admit to being overly hard on Mary Connealy though, so that review probably needs editing. I still dislike her book and her style, but I need to reword my dislike to something more compassionate.

      I'm glad you enjoy my reviews! It's always nice knowing people find them useful. :)

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    2. Not everyone can like everything, and while I have a tendency to like more books/movies than I dislike, sometimes I just don't enjoy a book or movie. And I struggle with writing out reviews of those -- trying to be fair, to explain why I disliked a book/movie, to let readers know whether I think it was badly made or if it just didn't suit me. So I wanted to let you know that I think you did such a good job walking that fine line.

      Looking forward to reading more on your blog in the new year! Keep up the good work!

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    3. I tend to stop reading books if I don't like them so they never end up with a review. Unless I'm reviewing for a publisher, then I press on to the finish line. The one I'm reading now has a fantastic concept, but the realization is a little messy. She's a great writer with fantastic detail and neat character development, but she focuses on all of her characters instead of having a single main character. I don't think that was her intention, either, since the back cover labels the heroine as the main character. But in the book you can go 40 pages without reading from her perspective. I think that one will get 3 stars. I wish her editor had helped a little more.

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    4. Yeah, I quite often stop reading books I don't like too. Unless they're mysteries and I'm far enough into them that I simply must know how they end. But most of the time I quit them because I don't have enough time to read all the books I want to read as it is.

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