My honest review
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Anything that is said within this review is constructive feedback and is in not written with malicious intent, I wish you all of the best with your work to come.
The title And Summary:
From both of these, we come to understand that the protagonist, Elizabeth, finds herself in a world that she isn’t familiar with, they are both intriguing and definitely pique the interest of the reader from the beginning.
I do think that perhaps the summary could keep some things hidden so as to not give everything away to the reader, this way we can discover it along with Elizabeth as we go along.
Now the plot, like the title, is well thought out and unique, there are twists and turns from the beginning which have been planned well and aren’t left without an answer.
I can tell that the author is passionate about writing, although they are only starting out, they show true potential already and I do believe that if they continue to work and develop their ideas and books, they could take their work quite far.
I definitely enjoyed her adventures to an alien planet, it was original and gave us a new and very real look at our own world, it was up to date with recent topics and genuinely made me ponder some questions and issues that were raised.
Overall, the plot was smooth and raised problems which the main character had to solve, whether it be independently or with the help of others.
There are things to work on that I have mentioned in the chapter-by-chapter review but they fall under more specific critiques rather than the plot on the whole.
Grammar and Punctuation
On the whole, these two aspects in the book are not a major concern, there were a few mistakes I picked up on here and there, but in no way did they affect my understanding or the way I read it.
One thing I did mention to the author in my notes, was that personally, I do not find swearing in descriptions or thoughts effective, it is simply a personal preference and is not something I would say needs changing.
Similarly was the use of phrases, some were used many a time in a chapter which, if spread out more, would have made it seem less repetitive and would have made room for more detail.
Along with the grammar and punctuation, the point of view, which was first person, remained consistent throughout the book, there was no changing of it as I have seen in other books, it was a well-written book where a few adjustments are needed.
There are quite a few characters that we come across in the book.
In the beginning, it is Elizabeth and her relationship with her colleague Samantha that we come across first, which we find out isn’t a friendly one of sorts.
Elizabeth’s relationship with her family is strong, her brothers are protective over her and will look out for her as will her parents who seem somewhat in control of her life still, which is partially the reason for her wanting to travel so that she can become independent.
Her relationship with Nate is one of friendship on her side, but romance on Nate’s. We discover that he has liked her for some time but she has refused him on each occasion, yet he sticks by her side and wants the best for her, even if that means informing her parents of her lies.
On her travels, Elizabeth meets a man and woman, they go by the names of Diego and Angela. With Diego, her relationship with him takes a somewhat romantic turn when her alcohol-driven mind frees the side of her that she usually doesn’t show. However, it is a fleeting event and relationship when things are revealed.
As for Angela, her relationship with her is a friendly one and I can say that I do like Angela’s character to an extent, although there is something that told me she couldn’t be trusted.
The man we are introduced to as Grandfather has an intimidating reputation which doesn’t change when Elizabeth meets him for the first time. He has almost two separate personalities, one that shows sympathy and longing, even happiness and the other, that displays control, order and discipline. We do learn more about him along the way and I did seem to forget the sympathy side of him and more of the violent and malicious intents.
During her time on the alien planet Azure, we meet even more characters whom I liked more so than those on earth.
We saw Elizabeth meet Ivan who she had a mixed relationship from the off seeing as their personalities often clashed, both of them being strong-willed and determined, but we saw their relationship progress and better as time went on, despite these occasional disagreements.
On meeting Ivan, we also met Ethan who had a more sympathetic and caring nature when it came to Elizabeth’s bewilderment on reaching their planet, he continued such traits throughout, especially when she became his temporary niece which had a big impact on his character as well as her alien mother who had been wanting children.
Elizabeth’s relationship with other students varied in a wide range of emotions and views, some such as Adina and Lenna, for their own reasons, were harsher towards Elizabeth whereas other characters like Isa and her group of friends helped and supported her during the tougher times and showed to be reliable friends.
One of my favourite characters was Damon, he started off as mysterious and kept to himself until he had an insult to say. But as he got closer to Elizabeth a sweeter side was revealed, one that seemed to care for her well-being and safety which is unusual when you look at other Lamia who would obsess over her human self, that was, until we got towards the end of the plot and things took an unexpected turn.
This is what we saw with Elric who could smell the difference in her blood, he definitely tested out his theories when he could.
Although, it seemed that Elric and Lenna had fallen off the face of the Earth and never reappeared despite it seeming as though they would have more to do with the plot. Similar to them would be the difficulty to understand what part the King of Argent had to play in the plot and what the whole scenario with them added to the plot besides extending it and adding a bit of drama and the same goes for the bees that attacked Elizabeth and weren’t mentioned afterwards, as well as the shadow man and the newly introduced Ambrose.
Elizabeth, as the main character, who we follow through her adventures is explained from the beginning as reserved and someone who doesn’t venture outside her comfort zone.
However, we see her change and develop as the book continues, she becomes more confident and strong-willed, not to mention outgoing.
It was interesting to see the character development, in the way she spoke and acted towards certain people and situations.
Reading her thoughts and feelings and the way they affected her emotions made her more relatable and less one-dimensional, it allowed us to follow along and in some cases feel as though we were Elizabeth and made us think about what we would do had we been there and facing what she was.
Of course, the other characters too had different personalities and traits that set them apart, this can be hard to do and let alone maintain through a book, especially when new to writing, but you did well and I hope the characters in the book two are just as well thought out.
Things to work on
I would suggest working on detail and description, on the whole, it was relatively well written, however, I did find in some places it lacked the immersive feeling and I couldn’t quite picture or follow what was happening.
Something else I would like to point out is the loose ends in the book. There were things that I felt were missing like perhaps a section or two checking in with Nate and Elizabeth’s family on Earth so that we could grasp the time and whether or not there was a difference between Earth and Azure.