Tuesday, April 09, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: PROPHECY GIRL by Faith McKay


PROPHECY GIRL (Lacuna Valley, #1)
by: Faith McKay

Ebook published November 20, 2012
GENRE: Young Adult • Abuse • Paranormal • Urban Fantasy • Mild Romance
Life Issues • Philosophical • Non-humans • Supernatural Abilities

                                        Find a copy at:  

   
                                                                TECHNICALLY 2.8 ROUNDED TO 3

Ever since Samantha Winthrop's mother moved them to Lacuna Valley, supposedly in search of better weather, the list of strange questions she has no answers for has been growing out of control.

Does her little sister, Violet, have the ability to make things happen just by "praying" for them? Are Sam's dreams really predicting the future? Is she destined to marry the boy she just met, and what is the mysterious orb that he's guarding? Why does she get the impression that there are dangerous creatures watching from the woods?

While Sam should be focusing on answering those questions, there is one other that makes them seem almost irrelevant: Is her mother planning on killing her and Violet?

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I would like to take a moment and thank the author for a copy of this book. 

This book was somewhat tough to get through but it had a center that made it definitely worth reading. I will be honest... it took me a long time to read the first 3/4 of the book. As in weeks. Let me start off with my constructive criticisms and then I'll end with the positive yummy bits.


The premise of the book interested me. Strange abilities, mysterious guardians and dangerous creatures usually ring my bell. What was unfortunate about this novel was the missing connection between the reader and the two main teenage characters. I could not engage with either Sam or Nick. The problems for me that snagged the connection was the pacing, the lack of character development, the underdeveloped minor characters and plot, the mind-blowing long philosophical or repetitive internal monologues, the typos and the vague references to all the supernatural beings and abilities.  The fact that all but one adult was portrayed as remote, clueless, ignorant, completely lacking in empathy or responsibility, blinded by truth and oblivious was very irritating. There was this bizarre undertone to most of the book that was exacerbated by the slow pace. This left me confused and I admit... bored.



I found some scenes were stalled, almost repeating themselves. Most of the book was Sam's internal monologues. Those were overtly philosophical and repetitive questions.  
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The dialogue was sparse, disjointed, sometimes unnecessary and sometimes felt like it was out from left field. It wasn't realistic conversations, but vague, obtuse or choppy. A pet peeve of mine was how the same situations didn't change Sam or her opinions. She was very helpless, bitter and unintelligent about how to deal with things. I felt we only scratched the surface with Nick. He was very flat. Sam's parents were just weird but I think that was because their characters weren't fully developed and expressed. The inconsistencies were a bit bothersome. 

                                   

No phone but the mom gossips. The kids never go to town and the town is OK with never seeing the kids? The dad seems very ill one minute and trying to get a job and running out to dinner the next. What were these snippets of information that never came to fruition? Why does Sam act like abuse is OK when she's been around enough to know that cops ARE your friends and Child Protective Services really CAN help? What about the secondary characters? We get unfocused snap shots that leave you interested in what they could be. The other thing was this... if Violet could wish for anything and it come true, then WHY don't they have her wish for her mother to turn good and forget all about her obsession, drop dead or vanish away to a deserted island? It is such an easy fix that NO ONE seems to think to do it. The problems left me pondering:   
                                     
but I kept returning to the book because there was some real genius underneath. Let me explain the exceptional aspects to this novel.

The basic core of the book is interesting. Two sisters, two different powers, a wretched and mysterious mother, a dark boy with secrets and other supernatural beings. (Sorry, can't get away spoilers!) There are some secondary characters that could steal the show if given time and support to ripen and mature. Violet and two other (females) that shall not be named made me feel:


I could really get behind these characters, especially if they were honed to perfection. I can't tell you about two of the characters because they would be spoilers, but let's discuss Violet. Who wouldn't give to be their own "genie-in-a-bottle" in real life? Her innocence and naivete is both enduring and irritating. As a mother of nine, seven and two, I completely understand her mental and emotional level. My kids are the same. What makes her my favorite is there is more time given to her character, more meat given to her structure and that made her very interesting! The fact that you have these two sisters with very different abilities is a mysterious puzzle I want to see solved. The orb idea is unique and I want to see the mythology behind it flushed out. If the next book is written in first person POV or even a different character's point of view (POV) then the book should be way more engaging. 

Sam and Nick's romance is complicated by an age old prophecy, but I felt it was age appropriate. No massive make out sessions in the truck. No clandestine meetings to hit third base in the music room. However, I felt their dialogue was not typical teen "speak" and their awkwardness was given a steroid injection. It was really heavy with random hits of bizarre laughter. You could never figure out the relationship as it bounced around like a kid in a bounce house.

I am hoping the next installment will have the proper amount of time to fully mature. This book needed a good deal of time with an editor to refine and rebuild sections. Given that, the core is interesting enough to warrant the upgrade to a three rating.