AnnaIramcos

Nothing is simple. I make a mess. I just try to make it a good one.

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You won't be able to put it down--AND it will make you a better writer.

L. E. Pearson has pulled off an incredible feat.

1. The Grey Ones is a binge-worthy historical fantasy romance. I read the whole thing in about two days. The tension between the characters is organic and well developed, the attraction between the Vasaad and Juniper is gritty without being trashy, the sex scenes are gratifying without being gross or stealing the energy from the rest of the book. The problems in the characters' relationship are genuine, well developed, and rooted in the world the characters have been placed in as well as in their own personalities and pasts. These characters have been developed in three dimensions and they read effectively as complex individuals. You don't always like them, you don't always agree with them, but you always want to keep reading them.

2. It's an effective fusion of multiple genres and discusses issues that are relevant to our culture and humanity in a fantasy setting. This book will make you think about big questions without whacking you over the head with a philosophy textbook. What makes a good relationship? What is sexual flourishing, and when/how is it wise to have sex? What sort of behaviors are appropriate to accept from men? What makes a healthy culture? What place does religion have in our lives? What should be done when we disagree on all of the above? The characters are messy and they sure don't have all the answers, but L. E. is forcing us to face the same issues they are. I disagree with plenty of the author's implicit propositions, but reading this book made me smarter and more clear on my own beliefs--and that's a mark of very good fiction.

3. This book will make you a better writer. There's a lot of trash fiction on the internet. This book has a fleshed out world, fleshed out societies, fleshed out characters, and fleshed out issues. If you're wondering how to write more high quality fiction that breaks tropes while staying compelling, this is a great model. I've been taking mental notes. There are a couple of works of fiction that I set aside as textbooks for what I'm trying to do in my own writing, and this book is up there with them.

Constructive Crit:
-The build between Juniper and the Vaasad took a little long and was a little unvarying once they were quasi-sure of their feelings but unable to admit them. They go back and forth wondering if they like each other without much effective communication for A LOT of chapters--it was an effective dynamic in the beginning, but after it lasts too long, it ceases to be suspenseful and starts to be a little frustrating. Suspense needs a punchline, and we waited a long time for that one. Don't get me wrong, it was worth it, but it would have been just as worth it if that wibbly-wobbly phase lasted half as long.

-This is a personal preference, but Juniper can be a little helpless. I'd love to watch her develop more agency and be a little more feisty/self-driven, but given her background, I understand that will take time. She's compassionate, but she's very reliant on the Vasaad. At some point, she needs to hit a breaking point and take an all-out stand. I want to see her pushed to the point that she'll do whatever it takes. She's a little easy to sideline right now--but again, she's been repressed by her father and her society her whole life, so I can't get too mad at her for it.

-Get someone to proofread. Your typos didn't obstruct the story, but they're still noticeable every now and then. Hell, I'll proofread for you if you want.

Thank you for your incredible work, L. E. We need more books like yours. Keep writing.

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