Showing posts with label Mindy Klasky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mindy Klasky. Show all posts

Monday, December 2, 2019

Keara's Raven Escape by Mindy Klasky

Rating: WARTY!

Erratum: "for the entire three days that the titheman ad stayed on the green" 'Had stayed' was required there.

Previously published as Darkbeast, this novel evidently failed its first time out, and was renamed and re-released for a second try. For me it failed that time, too. There were several problems with it. The first was that it was worst-person voice, which I am actively now trying to avoid in novels having pro-actively weeded out my entire aging print book collection of first person voice titles and ditched them unread. I'm slowly doing the same with my larger ebook collection. This one didn't start out too badly, but it soon embarked upon road after road most traveled, and it was boring. The cliff-hanger ending was expected and not appreciated, and I have zero intention of reading any more of this series.

The novel is aimed at a younger audience than the one I (don't!) represent, so take my commentary as you will, but the story had issues. The author set up the girl as having no female friends. Even her sisters hated her, and the only female she meets turns out to be a traitor to her. Her only savior is of course the inevitable boy, because all women are useless unless they have some sort of male validation according to this kind of author. Why so many female authors seem so hell-bent upon denying female friendships to their characters is beyond me.

In this medieval world - where they have female actors strangely enough - every child grows up with a 'darkbeast', which is an animal (bird, amphibian, or reptile, it would seem) which can talk and which plays the role of Jesus, taking away their sins. They're supposed to unload their negative thoughts and emotions on the beast, and at the age of twelve, are required to visit the 'godhouse' and kill the animal, thereby freeing themselves of childhood sins so they can enter adulthood renewed. Keara cannot kill her darkbeast - her only friend - and is forced to flee her community, sought by inquisitors. She runs away and joins the circus - well, a company of traveling players at least, which earns a living by visiting villages and performs plays tied to one or other of the twelve gods

The story was a fast read and I followed it all the way, believe it or not, but by the end I was disappointed and resented the time I had blown reading this when I could have been doing something much more rewarding. This is why I typically do not even try to read a book to the end when it's doing little or nothing for me. With this one I kept hoping it would really have something to offer, but it never did, and I cannot commend it at all. It was full of trope and took forever to really have anything happen despite it being a relatively short read. It was as warty as one of the darkbeast toads - which aren't really warty, but this observation isn't meant to be any more realistic than was this novel, which turbned out to be a dark beast that definitely ought to have been slain.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Girl's Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky

Rating: WARTY!

The main character in this novel is a woman who works in a specialty library (curiously, the author is - or was - also a librarian. Take that, Bembridge scholars!). Due to a sad lack of foot traffic in this library (people are likely to visit only if they're researching something historical), the idiotic library management decide that some changes are in order. Staff are now going to be required to wear authentic historical costumes, and one of the cost-saving measures is that the main character, Jane, has to take a 25% pay cut. In return, however, management will allow her to live rent-free in a small cottage on the property.

She and he best friend clean the place and discover a locked door to the basement, to which she has no key. She decides that she doesn't want to go down into a vermin-infested and dusty basement anyway, but since we know from the blurb that she finds some books on witchcraft and starts practicing the art, It's pretty obvious at this point that she will discover those books in the basement, and that these will confer upon her those witching powers, and this is indeed what happens. Not only does she discover that she instinctively knows how to cast a spell, she also resurrects a familiar named Neko.

The story started out rather interesting and engrossing, apart from Jane's creepy stalker-attitude towards a writer who is researching a new book in the library. She watches his every move and fantasizes that he's her boyfriend. When she finally went down to the basement after discovering the key, the story started going somewhat off the rails for me, but then it veered back on track and I started liking it again, then it went finally off the rails and I gave up on it.

A man by the name of Montrose shows up after she casts her first spell, telling her she can't go around casting spells like that unless she joins a coven or gets special training. Double, double, toil and trouble might result if she fails to heed the warnings, so she starts training with this guy, and there's this attraction between them even though they supposedly detest each other. The spells are nonsensical, and so was the story. I quit reading it because it was too silly and other novels are always calling seductively. I can't recommend it.

And on a personal note, this marks a personal record of 75 reviews posted on my blog in one month! Yeay me!