Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Review: Death Watch

TITLE: Death Watch
Book 1 in the Undertaken Trilogy
AUTHOR: Ari Berk
CATEGORY: Young Adult
GENRE: paranormal
PREMISE: A boy goes to live with his uncle and learns past family secrets.
MY REVIEW: Here's the thing, I love the concept of this book. The idea behind it and the thought into the world is fabulous and I did like that the author tried to have some sort of emotion in there. But that's the key word there: tried.
Because frankly Berk's writing is just not on par with the story idea. This is a case where I wish either the author had spent more time building her craft or the idea had gone to another more gifted writer. Berk's writing is flat, her dialogue is terrible, and she tends wander with the plot a lot. I bet if you cut all the useless scenes in this book, it would be about down to two hundred pages. It doesn't help that she didn't build her characters either. They were all two-dimensional, especially the drunk mother who was basically deliberately written so we'd hate her. There's a lot of tell but don't show writing going on too that tends to treat the reader like they're dumb. Honestly this felt like a elementary level book masquarading as teen fiction though I hesitate with that because I've read some very well written children's books in the past (Harry Potter anyone?).
This was just a case of the story being good but the writing being bad enough to eclipse a lot of the good that is going on in the book. This is why I wish authors/publishers would take more time with manuscripts instead of just turning them in and getting approval. At the very least EDIT because I'm sorry, I don't think there was a lot of editing going on here. If you really are interested in this, I would just check it out from the library.
WHO SHOULD READ: paranormal fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five watches

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