Monday, January 14, 2013

The Raven Saga


http://www.amazon.com/Raven-Saga-Book-1-ebook/dp/B004ZZJ462/ref=la_B0050BSH1I_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419023780&sr=1-1

I’ll start off by saying I haven’t finished the series.  I’ve read the first 2 out of 3 books.  But unless Suzy Turner suddenly starts writing very differently then what I have to say will apply to all her books.


Let’s take a look at the positives:  Great plot!  Entertaining.  Hmmm, that’s all I got.

Now for the negatives:  No real character development.  Turner tries, but ultimately you are left wondering why her characters do, think and even feel the way they do.  Even I (the reader who is so empathetic it’s pitiful) have trouble identifying with the central characters.    

Why are they so hard to identify with?  Well, for one thing they are far too young to be experiencing the things they are going through.  I mean what girl falls in love, for life, at first sight, before her 14th birthday?  And what kind of family is ok with that?  Like I said, Turner tries, but she just doesn’t have the skill as a writer to catch my empathy. 

Honestly, if Lilly started the book at 17 years old I could probably get over some of the emotional flatness.  But if she did then basically the story falls flat.  I mean it’s weird enough that a 13 year old hasn’t really considered that her parents aren’t normal when they have no jobs, they stay locked in the same room all day every day, and all she’s ever been fed is canned food – cold, straight out of the can.  And this doesn’t even bring into play that she’s never heard one nice word from her supposed “mother” who keeps her from having any friends or talking to anyone outside of school.  If she were 17 there is just no way that would hold water.  I mean even at 13 she should have realized from her reading (it says she reads allot) that her home life is anything but normal.  And yet she doesn’t really think about it.  That’s just how things are.

Perhaps this has something to do with why I don’t identify.  After all, I’ve never been through that kind of emotional abuse.  But it doesn’t take long in the story for her to get away from that and supposedly start to understand the world.  A good writer would have taken advantage of that change and changed Lilly’s thought patterns.  But no, she’s honestly a pretty static character.

Like I said, interesting plot but the writing is what falls flat.  The thing that captured my interest to begin with was Lilly’s unfortunate upbringing, and then the supernatural elements come into play and it does keep my imagination running.  It’s not too predictable (even though I’m pretty sure if I wrote now about the 3rd book in the series I could guess enough to fool anybody).  All in all I think it’s an ok series.  Turner uses the term “saga” to describe it and I would have to disagree.  Nothing “epic” about this, but a fun read none the less.  I’m planning to read the 3rd book and I wouldn’t berate anyone who (even after this assessment) decided to pick them up for a bit of light reading.

BTW- I seem to have a very different opinion of these books than most people who reviewed them on Amazon so feel free to check out what others are saying here.

UPDATE:  I did finish the series... doesn't change anything I said earlier.  

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