Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: The Bird by Jo Michaels

The Bird by Jo Michaels

Publisher: Jo Michaels
Pages: 241 Pages (Paperback)
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Stormy Terrabonne's life is about to be changed forever by a bright red cardinal. She soon finds herself being whisked away from all she's ever known to save an entire race of people known as Trobodytes. When she's presented to the Queen, Stormy learns how she's expected to help: By killing an evil wizard named Bordash Bladeslinger and stopping him from cutting down the sacred trees that bind Trogon to Earth.

Now, there are only two trees left. One of the trees presents a double dose of jeopardy: It's also tied to the renewed life of Stormy's mother. While Stormy learns more about the gifts she gained by becoming a Trobodyte, someone manages to poison that all important tree.

It's a race against time as she faces a legion of fairy tale creatures she never knew existed, learns to harness the power within herself to battle Bordash Bladeslinger, and tries to find a way to heal the dying tree before it collapses and takes her mother with it



The first half of the book was actually much better than the second half. In fact until about 50% in I probably would have given this 2.5 - 3 Stars. Probably 3 Stars since it is written by an indie author and I like indie things.... and I think it way harder to get good editing. The second half sadly would not get more than half a star.

This book had me pondering quite a bit after finishing it- but sadly it wasn't much about the content and more about self-publishing. It's an interesting phenomena, isn't it? Something that was impossible for most aspiring writers just a decade ago has become a simple and easy possibility. And mostly I think that, it's simply fabulous. BUT - yep there is always a but- the more I read self-published books the more I start to respect and appreciate professional editing. Because honestly I don't think anybody is able to step back after spending hundreds of hours working at something and have a detached perspective... Many self-published books are let down by the lack of good editing.
Honestly - and here is why I am babbling on about this- The Bird could be significantly improved with good editing.
As example at towards the end of the book, one of the characters asks what had happened. So they are told and there is an entire summary of the plot of the last few chapters. And to top it, it doesn't happen once. No, no, no, that would have just made me role my eyes. NO, a few pages later a different character asks what she had missed while she was indisposed- and there is another summary as answer! I mean, come on! I just had read that, I honestly didn't feel like going through a summary of the plot!

I am not sure what the age group is that was aimed for.I was under the impression it was a young adult book. But at times this felt very much like it was for Kids. Then on the other hand it had content, that was for young adult, that would be totally unsuitable to talk about in a kiddies book. But as I said it was in my opinion to simplistic for young adults allot of the time.

The world building was ok. I've been reading fantasy for a really long time, and to be fair I have read far worse. I actually found the world Michaels created quite endearing, though it didn't wow me overly as well.

The character building was lacking to say the least. I didn't connect with a single character  I couldn't care less about them. They felt like total cardboard figures- not that they had no emotions- oh no! there was allot of totally over the top emotion going on. But I didn't feel them. In fact I found all the emotional outburst of each and every character rather annoying. I mean they all cried ALL the time.

As example:
He sobbed into her shoulder. "I love you, too. Would you hold me tonight? Can I stay? "
Tears rolled down Bordash's face as the embraced.

We talking about grown man here- and before you jump on my throat, I am ok with guys crying- but not ALL the time. I mean these are wizards and they supposedly are prepared to fight to the death? Uh. NO! Really not my cup of tea. I just was irritated by their cheap-soap-opera-like uber-emotionality.

The storyline was for the first half quite enjoyable. I loved how Michaels incorporated known Fairy Tales and I liked the idea of the new lease on life and all.
In the second half it became totally predictable and way over the top. So I spent allot of time snickering and rolling my eyes.
To be specific. Stromy is supposed to be 45, when she makes her decision to embark on this journey. Unlike her mother, she does keep her memories when going to Trogon. She does though half the time behave like a 13year old. And so does Michael. She was a mother and is divorced. But her behavior and her emotions just don't seem to be one of a grown woman.
And spending every night together in bed, BUT not being intimate, two people who are in lust and love... really??
Valetta- is a 13year old girl, who's mother doesn't really feature. Again totally odd and unrealistic since she is supposed to be living in our world and time.The fact that the situation with Gretchen was suddenly solved was also rather odd.
To be honest I am not sure why there was even a POV of Valetta. I think it was kinda unnecessary
All this stuff was happening and then all over sudden everything was back just all sorted and done. And there was the HEA.

OH and the worst bit of the story: spoiler (on GR)

Sadly definitely not a book for me

ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review

View all my reviews here

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