Thursday, May 19, 2016

Incarnation by Laura Davis Hays

I follow WOW-Women On Writing and when Renee Roberson asked for volunteers to review a new metaphysical thriller for a blog hop, my hand immediately went up with a great 'pick me, pick me' out to the universe. Then I received the book and realized this was a case of you had better be careful what you wish for.


See the cover?  It's blue.  Just plain old blue.  Ok, there are waves which would give me a hint this is a water-based novel, but it's plain, boring blue.  Actually, if I saw the book on the shelf at the book store I would think it was either a self-help meditation book on past lives or just leave it alone.  Which is sad, because in the book it talks about crystals.  Glowing crystals.  Have the shadowy figure holding a green, glowing crystal at least.

Then I flipped the book over to the back.  

I recently read an article on what not to do when publishing your book and a back cover of blurbs was one of the top on the list.  Fortunately, one of the blurbs does give a synopsis of the book.  Keep that one and trash the rest.  Tell me what I can find inside.  Make me want to open the book!

Then the trouble started.  Page one.  All in italics.

There is a reason books aren't printed in all italics.  It's hard to read.  One or two words, ok.  A phrase.  A brief thought.  But several pages?  Halfway through the book (and halfway through a bottle of aspirin for the headaches), I began skimming and skipping over the italicized pages.  Problem is, that is half the story.  Then I started getting peeved because I felt it was a ploy for 'stupid' readers.  It was like I was being told I wasn't smart enough to know when Kelsey's story stopped and Iriel's started.  I just finished another book with a difference of 60 years in the story rather than centuries.  The chapters were labeled with the year, just to clarify the change.  Label the chapters with the character names if nothing else, but drop the italics.

Ok, I'll admit.  I think my unhappiness over the whole italics thing colored my perception of the book.  I found myself wanting more of the science behind what was going on in the lab.  I felt what was there was a little 'made up' for the story and not based on real science.  Then there were what I felt were conveniences in the story.  A physic therapist appears.  And, oh, all of a sudden there is an archeological dig on the same little known island the experiments are taking place on.  And the dolphins.  One minute they're there and the next, during a critical survival scene in the ocean, they aren't.  (Dolphins could have been added on the cover too.)  And then there were my issues with Kelsey.  When crazy boyfriends have a key to your house and you didn't give it to them, you change your locks if nothing else!

If some of the cosmetic issues were worked out on the book, I would probably say take it with you on vacation, not a great read, but an acceptable one.  As it stands right now, I can't.  Too much of a headache maker.


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