Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Let's Talk: "A Wild and Unremarkable Thing" Book Review

Title: A Wild and Unremarkable Thing
Author: Jen Castleberry
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Date Started: January 6, 2018
Date Finished: January 15, 2018
Rating: 2/5 stars
Goodreads Review

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. It is important to note that problems I had with this book could have possibly been fixed upon publication*

I honestly thought I would love this book. I really really thought that I would. Unfortunately, that just wasn't the case. There were a lot of things I disliked that I just couldn't forget about despite the parts I did like. Reading this was rough. I had to force myself to read it most of the time, and I feel like that partly contributed to my dislike of the book. I'm going to start with the things I disliked, and then finish this review off on a high note with the things that I did enjoy in this book.

Firstly, I could not look past the writing. This book was written in third person present tense, and there was very little use of pronouns or compound sentences. It made the writing choppy and I felt very disconnected because of the way it was told. I felt detached from the characters and even by the end of the book I did not particularly care about the outcomes of any of the characters except for one, and even then I wouldn't have been too distraught if things had ended differently for that one specific character. I feel like if the writing style wasn't so different than what I'm used to, I could have enjoyed the book to more of its full potential. The writing style was almost poetic at first, but after the prologue I grew annoyed with how this book was written.

However, the writing style wasn't the only problems I had with this book. It contributed to my lack of connection to the characters, but I believe that even if the writing style had been a more familiar one, I would have still had problems forming attachments to the characters. From the beginning to the end, I only had a half-formed connection to a single character from the entire book, and as I stated above, I didn't fall in love with that character either.

I really disliked two of the main characters. I thought I would love them, but by the end, I didn't like them. Cody/Cayda was ok for most of the book but there were some moments where I was particularly annoyed by her. I didn't connect with her which made a lot of her thought processes seem annoying to me. Overall, she wasn't a terrible character and I neither hated nor liked her. I particularly disliked Wolf, however. He was ok in the first few chapters of his perspective, but I felt like towards the end of the book he got more and more annoying, especially at the very end. I didn't particularly care about how his character ended the book, except in that it helped another character's outcome. He was, frankly, an misogynistic asshole who really served no point in the story until the very last chapters.

The pacing messed with me a lot. It was extremely slow in the beginning. In fact, I had to force myself to get through 70% of the book before anything actually happened. We were building up for 70% about this epic adventure that was about to start, and that was over and done with within a few, half-formed chapters. The ending was abrupt and wrapped everything up for a somewhat happy ending, but it was unrealistic. It ended almost too perfectly, too fast. This book was slow at times and rushed at others. I felt that since these characters were on such an epic quest, this book could have been a bit longer in those parts and shorter in the others. For a novella, I understand that there needed to be a lot fit into a small book, but it could have been written and planned a lot better while still staying in the length parameters.

Now let's get into the things I liked. First things first, I liked Penn. I didn't love Penn, but I enjoyed him the most overall out of this book. There were a few things that were most likely supposed to be surprising about him, but I either saw them coming or it wasn't that imperative to the story. In the grand scheme of this book, he was my favorite character and I really liked how his specific storyline ended.

I also liked Fares and Tomas. Fares was ok by himself as a crown prince playboy, but when he met Tomas I liked their story together. It was short and I wish we'd gotten more on their specific story than some of the 70% hype-up at the beginning of the book. I want them to be together.

Overall this book wasn't terrible, but I had a lot of problems with it that I just couldn't look past. Of my entire reading experience, I only enjoyed maybe 5% of my entire time spent on this book. This was saddening for me as I really was excited for this book. Unfortunately, this just wasn't the book for me. I don't think that this book is a particularly terrible book, but I feel that with some more revisement, planning, and beta readers, it could have been a great story. The idea of this book is a good one, but I wish that it had been executed a little bit better.


Thanks for reading!


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