By M. G. Hardie
(book to be released May 23)
One day, stock broker Devon Heathrow finds a package that contains a pair of glasses. Using the glasses, he is able to see strange beings-Them-from another dimension who subsequently attack him. Rescued and physically altered by another entity, Devon now wanders the world in search of answers, trying to avoid Them, and saving humanity from Them…if he can.
That’s my take on the plot. Had I known how the book was going to present this plot…I would have rejected the review request.
Devon Heathrow: stock broker, married with child, brown eyes.
Yep. One character, and the eye color is all the description I could find.
Okay, yes, there were other characters, but they were so far below minor because most of them showed up for a scene, then were gone.
So, there are the creatures called Them and most were given weird names. He, Him, Me, Ask. Others were given names-I assume-by Devon, which represented what they did: Landslide, Avalanche, Tsunami, etc. There is a guy named Prime who shows up later in the book who is one of Them. The He character is the surgeon who gave Devon the alterations to make Devon more than human.
There is another other-dimension group called the Sway, who influence humans more subtly than major catastrophes. In fact, one of the Sway is named Influence.
Unfortunately, these names made reading more difficult, especially when the He character was around Whenever sentences started with He, I had to read carefully to determine whether the sentence dealt with the Them He or he Devon.
The problem I had with Them and Sway, was because of how the book was written, these characters didn’t develop. They popped in and out. Every time a new character was introduced, I thought, “Okay, now we’ll have more than a passing interaction.” Nope. Gone by the next scene or chapter.
Beyond the problems of the characters, there were massive amounts of dialogue. The scene with He was mostly dialogue and He dumped so much useless, irrelevant information in lengthy passages, I stopped caring. The information dump was an encyclopedia entry listing almost everything about Them. This was done way too early in the book and most of the information was not relevant throughout the rest of the book and the way the story developed. The last 80 pages was mostly dialogue, with looooong passages and explanations, and most of that was repetitious concepts that were given throughout.
Devon has way too many way too long internal monologues. People do not think in multiple page paragraphs.
Where do I start? Titled chapters. Profanity. Punctuation problems. Misspelled words.
ALL of the book was telling, not showing. Action scenes were either too short or too long and none of them showed the pain or emotions of Devon. They were related through telling. Passive verbs, ‘ing’ verbs with lessen the tension.
There is a major problem with tenses. The author jumps from present to past and it doesn’t make sense and doesn’t work.
POV jumps. Narrator jumps from close 3rd to distant 3rd to medium 3rd too abruptly. It was jolting and threw me out of the scene.
Many times there are two sentences as one sentence and those two pieces don’t relate to each other.
Poorly written sentences. Weak writing. In one scene it is written that two Them used their fist, instead of fists. Many times I had to re-read sentences to figure them out.
Continuity problem: At the beginning Devon drives a Camaro. A few pages later the car is an Impala.
Time problem: After the surgery, Devon awakens to find himself in a barn on a farm. Minutes later, the house is destroyed and the family killed by Them. In the same scene, just a little time has passed and Devon hears the incident being reported on a passing car radio.
So, Devon is altered. Some time has passed because when he reaches out to a friend, he discovers he’s wanted for crimes back at the office and his bank accounts were frozen. However, he seems to find money to hop a train and cruise ship. This shift in transportation has problems, too. He was taking a train to California. I assumed he went some distance before the train derailed. Then he was on a cruise ship. How did he get there? How did he pay for the train ride? How did he survive at least a week with no money. None of these questions are answered.
After the cruise ship disaster, he begins wandering the world and for over half the book he travels and explores and examines and philosophizes and fights battles and rescues babies in way too numerous quick scenes and it’s exhausting to read. I kept waiting-in vain-for revelations to be made, for him settle down and do something substantive to the story. This doesn’t happen until he meets Prime and begins the endless conversation.
Jobs he held included lumberjack, construction, vigilante. He’s paid for his work but in one scene he uses an ATM. What? He’s traveling all the time, when did he have time to set up another bank account?
Attempts at lofty concepts and philosophy and the diatribes on human nature and the human species…it was all too much.
All in all, this was a poorly written book with a plot that never got off the ground because everything was told instead of shown and Devon was never grounded long enough to develop and give the reader something worthwhile. The characters were all but irrelevant and never developed. The dialogue was long with too much information.