Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Immortal Ones

I’m going back a ways to write about one of the series I love (keep in mind that I have read these several times so even though I’m critical in my analysis, they are still very fun to read).  It’s been a while since I read them (can’t believe I’m just now writing about it) so please pardon me for any inconsistencies you might find in this.

The first book is called A Chance for Charity.  I found this very intriguing because of the idea of immortals.  So many people seem to be chasing the idea of staying young forever, but honestly have you ever really thought it through?  First there is the fact that not everyone stays young, so basically at some point everyone you knew and loved will be gone and you’ll be left alone.  Then there is the fact that you won’t age, which means moving and not getting too close to people, otherwise they’ll figure it out and either freak out, or put you in a lab and let scientist have a go at you.  And then this book brings in a whole group of people who want to make you die simply because you shouldn’t exist in the first place.

But Charity brings a really tender story to all this.  She is a great person and very interesting.  When she meets Link the sparks fly in spite of the fact that she doesn’t want to get close to someone who she is afraid she will lose.  She’s lost too much already. 

I also love the way in which these books involve other paranormal characters.  Witches (I love S.L. Baum’s “rules” for witches, very interesting), shapeshifters, and even a vampire.  All of them interesting characters in and of themselves.

The next book is My Link in Time.  Not quite as good, but still a great page turner, very suspenseful.  And then there is Our Summer of Discontent… this one fell so flat.

What’s sad is that the plot was still good, the characters still interesting, but the execution just didn’t make it.  See, A Chance for Charity is in first person, all from Charity’s POV.  Then in My Link in Time there are a lot of scenes that need to take place away from Charity, so they just switch over to 3rd person and continue the story from outside of Charity’s vicinity.  Our Summer of Discontent just goes haywire.  It stays in first person, but each chapter changes POV (between about 5-6 characters).  The name of the chapter is the name of the person who’s mind you will inhabit for that chapter.  A really exceptional writer would have had a hard time pulling this off, but though Baum is very good, she is not exceptional.  When it changed POV the internal “voice” of the character never changed.  They all thought alike and so by the middle of the chapter the reader would have a hard time following whose head they were in.  I’ve read quite a few books where the 1st person narrative changed but it was usually only between two characters and they never switched very often.  More importantly, the internal voice was unique.

One of the things I do love is the titles.  It’s only obvious that the first one has the name of the main character in it… but all of them do.  The characters mentioned in the titles are Charity (duh), Link, Summer, and Eve.  I just keep wondering how she’s going to work in names like James into a title (he’s one of the only main characters left without a book that focuses on him).

I would have to say, you should definitely read the first book and the second, but I honestly can’t recommend the third unless you’re just dying to know what happens next.  Though, if I’m completely honest… book 4 (The Eve of Destruction) is probably the next on my list to read (the characters really are that good!).  How’s that for a mixed review?

BTW-- I didn't bring up Fire and Brimstone because I have NO desire to read that witch's story even if it is only 64 pages.  (I just can't stand her!)

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