Note: This review is based on the copy we received from the author.
Greetings everyone! The Review Board here to share its thoughts on First Light by Michelle Frost. Before diving in, here is the blurb via Goodreads:
On the harsh militant world of Sindorus, where even colours are considered sinful, three people living very separate lives are about to have those lives change forever. As deceptions are torn away, and ancient secrets brought to light, they each must struggle to find the missing pieces to the puzzle…answers that will unlock their true destiny.
First let’s look at the thoughts of the Harmonious One, Ms. Harmony Kent.
Sindorus is a harsh militant world. Daen is an exception to the norm … a northern female brought up knowing how to read and write, and make her own decisions. Idrith chose monastic life young, when tragedy struck his family. Aztar, in his quest for the approval of his father, sets his sights on becoming the youngest Zah Har Controller ever. The Zah Riel has built this society and its religion based on secrets and lies. Pilgrim Harmion has a mission that will change everything.
I found myself hooked by this book straight away. There were some slow bits where my attention wanted to wander, but on the whole, it was a good read. The author has a fantastic imagination, and is obviously at home in the fantasy genre.
Unfortunately, the book has been let down badly by appalling spelling, punctuation and grammar. A lot of these mistakes are basic, and would be weeded out with even a perfunctory proofread. Words have been confused, such as using ‘taught’ for ‘taut’, ‘past’ for ‘passed’, etc. There are lots of words missing, and lots left in where they want removing. There are also clumsy sentences, such as the following: “He picking up the dragons, holding them out in his hand.” And “… perhaps they some kind of escort for his bride, …”.
The narrative is full of comma splices, introductory clauses left without commas, split infinitives, and commas in strange places. The writing is extremely passive in nature, and the action is delayed time and again by the insertion of ‘began to’ and ‘started to’. On one notable paragraph, I counted four ‘began to’ formulations, one after another. There were also a lot of filter words. All of which distance the reader from the characters and the action.
I spotted a number of plot holes and inconsistencies—some of which could be down to spelling errors/missing words/etc. While others are more obvious contradictions to what has been written previously.
All of this is such a shame, as this has the potential to be a brilliant book. In the end, I had to make a concerted effort to ignore (over and over) the errors, and attempt to just read. Sometimes it took a while to work out what the sentence should say.
I feel the need to restate here, that this author has an excellent imagination and her book has some great potential. It is simply the lack of editing or proofreading that has let this down so much.
Now, lets see what the truth says, Mini Truth that is:
When I first started this book I had high expectations. I mean, after having seen so many great reviews and so many great things having been said, especially the claim that it was an “Award Winning Author” (per the cover), I thought to myself “Thank God, finally a good book!”
Well, lets just say that things didn’t quite turn out the way that I’d anticipated. I suppose the best way to start is by telling you a little bit about the characters and the plot line.
There are three main characters in this story, each one from the same world, but different ways of life. There is Idrith who is angry at the cards that he has be dealt in life. Then there is Aztar, who is a military man that has a great burden to bear, and finally there is Daen who is a female brought up with a sliver spoon.
The world is called Sindorus and it is a place without color as color is illegal, and anyone who uses things of color is considered an outlaw and is then condemned by the law–sometimes to death.
Following you’ll find my Pros and Cons:
I’ll start with the Pros since there are not many to be had.
- The story idea. I find that the premise is pretty unique and potentially a great basis for a fantasy story. There was something about the story line that was otherworldly and reminded somewhat of The Last Air Bender. Not sure why that was, but I guess that’s the direction my imagination went in.
Well, that was about it with the Pros. Shall we move on?
- My biggest peeve was the length of the chapters. Each chapter ranged from 20-30 pages, give or take one or two. WHAT?! Um… #NOPE! That’s just flat out exhausting.
- The there was the pacing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I realize that books sometimes have to take their time in order to establish a firm and believable plot. But, seriously? After the 3rd chapter, which was approximately 60 pages in, I was absolutely frazzled. Tuckered out, even. I was anxious for the story to get into the full swing of things. But, well, let’s just say it didn’t happen.
- Then there was the problem with the cover. Now, I realize that this is probably just a “ME THING”, however, I truly believe that a cover should reflect the content of the story. In the process of reading and doing research on this book I realized that there are three different covers. My problem? None of them actually matched the content of the story.
Aaaand, cover 3
Really? *insert side eyes and crooked mouth here*
- My last problem with this book was something that I did not notice right off the bat, but now I realize why. I was so worn out from the writing style, that I completely missed the syntax errors. It was just one of those things I suppose. So, here is my question… “Award Winning” really? Makes you wonder who is giving out the awards.
In all truth, I am not trying to be mean. I’m just calling it like it is. While this book had the potential of being a great and creative story, due to the lackluster delivery I am unable to give this story more than 5 TRB stars. Which is a crying shame because after the first few chapters, when I was actually interested and impressed by the story I was rating it at an 8. It says a lot when a story drops that many digits by the end. Not good at all.
You see, I was so excited by the initial thought of this book, and impressed by the first two chapters, but after that it all went down hill quickly.
That’s just my truth.
So, after tallying up the score from the Harmonious One and Mini Truth, First Light by Michelle Frost has earned 4.5 out of 10 TRB Stars.