I was expecting great things from this novel since it’s a famous television series. I have been informed that the writing improves and the other books are better than this one. I wonder if I’m too picky these days because I know a lot of people loved this book and I do realise that no book is perfect.
Things I liked were: the fast pace after the couple of slower first chapters; it was a page-turner at times, although not all the time. The variety of characters was wide and they all had very distinct personalities. It was easy to read—I didn’t have to think too much (kind of like a tv show ;)) and there were a few twists and turns to the plot.
So, what didn’t I like about it, or felt could have been done better? This book had been proofread but, in my opinion, not edited. Why do I say that? Because the writing needed tightening. There was a lot of repetition with words and descriptions, unnecessary words and too much telling, not showing. Sometimes the character beat us over the head with information we already knew because he was explaining something we’d already seen to another character. The editing issues frustrated me and slowed the book down at certain places and made the main character look a bit stupid.
The other irritating thing was the character’s ability to luck into escape every time. He would be on the brink of possible death and at the last second some miracle would occur that would get him out of the situation. I can understand this kind of scenario being used once in a book, but it happened a lot. It made me think luck was way more to blame for his ultimate success than his talent or intelligence. I get that a flawed character is realistic, and I agree, but the character really should be a bit more talented at what he does if he’s the best magician-for-hire in the city.
My advice is, if you want a fun read, go for it, but if you want tight writing, you may end up frustrated. I think this may be a case of accepting a book for the market it’s aimed at and genre it is, but it would have been nice if the publishers insisted on editing the book properly, because no writer writes the best book they can the first time (yes, I’m making an assumption here and it would be interesting to ask the publisher what steps they took with this book). I liked the book enough that I may try the next book in the series to see if the advice I received about the improved writing is correct.
Dionne is an author and editor from Sydney who loves reading (obviously) and playing sport. She co-hosts a humorous podcast called Tweep Nation where she interviews authors and discusses all things Twitter. She loves writing and sharing her stories, but she wishes they wouldn’t keep her awake at night.
More information about Dionne Lister can be found here: www.dionnelisterwriter.wordpress.com