Thursday, 27 February 2014

A Boat Made of Bone by Nicole Grotepas (Book One of the Chthonic Saga)







    Arc provided by Patchwork Press through Netgalley
                   
What first drew my attention to this book was, I admit, the cover.
And yes, the title.
In fact I was so blinded by those two elements, that a very important detail escaped my notice:

New Adult

Let it be said, that I don't have anything against the New Adult genre, besides the fact that up until this moment, I still haven't read a single book of this category that I've enjoyed!!

And this one started so well!! 
Which only makes the writing of this review even  more frustrating!

The author knows how to write. She knows how to create vivid settings, and the characters weren't that bad. At least at the beginning.
The ones that could have climbed out of Nick's Hornby High Fidelity story, those, I could have done without.

Thing is, the only thing that made me watch the movie (yes, I didn't read that Nick Hornby book, the only one I read  was "About a Boy") was that John Cusack was in there.
Yes, I had a big crush on John Cusack since I saw him playing a part of  a misunderstood assassin...

But I digress... today I couldn't care less about a bunch of characters pretending to be cool just because they work in a music shop.
That's not enough for a written story. I need more.
Especially when said characters turn out to be nothing more than :"Oh I've just finished college, and look at this ipad, my dad bought it for me".
O_O

*rushes to netgalley to confirm that had in fact requested a new adult book*

The book starts with Kate our main character (our 24 year old), in the middle of one of her erotic dreams (her very mildly described erotic dreams, let's make that clear) with Will, her dream man.
What is curious about them, is that they've been together for awhile now. Although that will take them awhile to figure out.

And there's something about their memory: At the beginning it takes them awhile to start remembering one another...
Okay, interesting. I definitely wanted to know where that was going! ;)

So the story is divided into Kate's real life, her job, her colleagues, her rock climbing activities, her bff who wants her to date some guy just because he is cute... (How old are you again?)... and Kate's nights which she spends dreaming of Will.
The thing is, there isn't a strong sense of cohesion between these two realities.
Once she wakes up _ and once she starts remembering Will _ I was expecting that she would start looking for some answers!
Yes, she finds out who...*cough* I mean, she discovers something about Will, but there's a symbol that seems to be always following them, and she doesn't do nothing to find answers!
She could have done some type of research! Why are they spending time together? Why is it happening to them??
But no. Instead she goes on, like she's living a double life. No problem. (also the girl passes her nights gallivanting, wouldn't it be natural that she would experience some real sleep deprivation symptoms?)

Then to be true to the new adult genre (or YA), there's an attempt at a love triangle that instead of being a strong plot line, just seems to be there to fill the pages.
There's no chemistry between them!
They share an interest: rock climbing.
And the guy is hot.
Therefore out of Kate's "blond minor league".

There's nothing wrong about a person being insecure about her looks. Hey, that happens all the time!
The problem happens when a reader (moi) starts being thrown with one too many: Oh, he's out of my league! I'm blond, and I have a nice figure, _but I have freckles, and my eyes sort of disappear when I laugh _ my friend says so, all the time, but... can I say once again how much my aspect troubles me?
_____
_____
No.

Please authors, trust your readers to remember the characters' aspect with one, or two descriptions.
Maximum.

So, where was I?
Right, I don't know. You know why?
Because what the story had of interesting, becomes buried beneath pointless dialogues between pointless characters.
All those people in the music shop?
Most of them would have to go. Chop, chop....
Then I couldn't help but get the feeling that the author was toying with the idea that Kate had that sort of appeal that all guys go for (I'm sorry but what was a guy who was almost forty, doing with a bunch of twenty year old kids? Surely he would have some other friends his age? And what's with her "boss" attitude?)

Please! Not that special snowflake syndrome aspect too!



Oh but wait, it isn't only Kate who is a special snowflake.
Ty, the gorgeous/handsome without substance character is also a special snowflake.
Here are Ty's thoughts on kissing:

"It's simply that I just don't kiss just anyone. Not that you are just anyone. See, kissing is an art. It's important. Too many people these days see it as a step towards the next peak, you know, like people who only climb K2 in preparation for Everest _ they don't even enjoy K2, their ultimate goal being something else entirely.No, no, no, they have it all wrong, the kiss _ and climbing k2 _ is a thing unto itself_" he stopped and stared at her, his eyes suddenly alert as though realising he had said to much.

  O_O
Well, my response to that would have to be: I would love to chat but...


So far I still don't know Ty's age... or his religion...
But... honestly??
Well unless he has been raised in a Monastery, this kind of speech will not do.

As you can see by all this, the pace starts to drag, so did my interest...

The final part does get a little more interesting, but without that much needed editing, it becomes clustered with needless dialogues when Kate and Will are basically trying to survive.
STOP TALKING! START RUNNING!

More plot.
More revision.
Less stereotypical actions.
Less forced romance.
Less tstl on Kate's part.
And this could have been an okay story.


Buy "A Boat Made Of Bone"

2 comments:

  1. Aww man, I suppose those goes in the "misleading pretty covers" category like so many other pretty things. What a shame.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The cover really catches the eye, lol
    My feelings exactly!
    A story with potential, but which got stuck in a myriad of YA clichés.
    It would be nice, if on the next book the author was capable of focusing more on the plot, and less on....pointless "things".

    ReplyDelete

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