Note: The basis of this review is limited. Although the author has forwarded me their complete manuscript, I have refrained from further reading because the book lacks a particular element in its writing. All grades are based on honest evaluations and will be supplemented by a couple of examples to prove my point.
Children of the Fog
By Cheryl Kaye Tardiffe
Cold Honest Truth:
- The style of this book drives me crazy!
OVERALL RATING: C+
Between the prologue and the first chapter, I truly thought you had an interesting premise, as if the story was a playoff from the horror movie, Children of the Corn. This idea of itself is not bad; however, due to its lack of subtlety I was forced me to put the book down and say no to ever wanting to positively promote the book on any particular website. Though I had a good outlook on the concept itself initially, the impression that I am now left with is more concerned about how much cornier the book could ever become where I to read it any further.
I was more annoyed and dissatisfied with the amount of time spent on giving the plot away within the first two chapters. Again, this is one of the reasons why I did not bother to give you a better grade than you deserved. Sadie, Leah, Sam, Philip, Victor, Jessie, and Alexia are far too many characters to introduce in the first scene. Normally, a fiction book limits the character settings to at least four, not seven, eight, or ten at once. The other thing that made the work problematic was the paces taken to introduce the characters. If you consider inserting block paragraphs about each physical descriptions of your characters good pace, than you have a lot more to work on beside the characterization.
When I initially decided to write my first novel, I thought along similar lines, until I realized that the reader would be turned off with these descriptive lists. So instead of putting up the character profile within a paragraph, I wound up rewriting a lot of these scenes with occasionally inserting particular physical traits in different areas where it would best seem to fit in. You don’t always have to tell me that Philip is an impatient man or that Leah was attractive. Usually, there are things that you can do to show these types of elements in your character. This technique is what most writers would call show vs. tell. If you are going to seriously write anything about character, you really ought to delve into these topics before making flat. I would also like to add that the story does not really offer enough transition between scenes and character introductions to create type of interest for me to read the book.
In this department, the book can use what one would call a complete makeover. The dialogue contained nothing but ornery conversations between two women in a toy store ranging from toy choices to hot sexy men at a strip club. If there is going to be small talk in the book, I would really like to see the conversations take off in a direction that would give away ‘subtle clues’ to what’s going to happen next. Before I continue discussing the overuses of clichés and dramatic pauses, there is one other point I would like to make about dialogue. QUIT CUSSING. Even though you might think I’m saying this because of my ‘Christian Values’, the primary reason is cusses lose its effect over time. Like all other works of fiction, overusing a word becomes a nuisance when someone discovers that the author has a ‘pet word’ they like to use.
Like I said above, the redundancy of the book was too much for me to handle, especially when you peppered the book with dramatic clauses within the prologue. If it is all that necessary to put an introduction to the book for some reason other than providing background information, then trash the prologue. I did not find anything useful from the introduction other than learning that it was about some woman who was ready to kill herself. Another that I found to be quite irritating was the overuse of the dialogue vocabulary. Snicker, grin, grin, snicker, grin, snicker, and snort are not words that need to be mentioned almost every other sentence, and that is one of the other reasons I would not recommend others to read this book. Was I to have a dollar every time a pet word was repeated just for ‘effectual purposes’ then I would have enough money to make myself a multimillionaire.
‘She was ready to die. If she did it right. Sam’s sweet fact stared back at her, smiling. It was almost midnight. Gong… Almost time. Gong…’
Yeah, that’s probably the best I can do to summarize the plot-line from the prologue; it sounds that boring. If you were to cut down the use with the amount of pauses you use in the prologue (the extremely short sentences), I am sure you would do well to get this book to look far better than writing something that over heightens the tension in the scenes.
Cover Design: A+
Great job, enough said.
Formatting: No Grade