Broken Realms by D.W. Moneypenny
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
[Disclaimer: I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley.]
There are minor spoilers throughout this review.
The blurb about this book sounded much more interesting than the book itself turned out to be. My main problem with it was there was a giant gaping plot hole throughout the entire thing: If Mara could control reality with her brain, why didn't she just, I don't know, CONTROL IT?! You can't give a character that kind of power and not explain away the way it works. There was a lot of speculation on the part of the characters (it's nice to have non-omniscient characters, but this wasn't exactly the right way to go about it) on how exactly the powers worked, and what happened when Mara "flickered" after using them too much. There needs to be at least some level of understanding why Mara can use her powers a certain way one time but not every time. The reasoning behind that was never worked out and never even touched on. I mean, she's able to pixellate pretty much anything and blow it away. But a dragon comes at her and she can't even get it to stop moving for more than a few seconds? It doesn't make any sense.
The narration was also pretty overwrought, there was a lot of purple prose, over-description, unnecessary passages that did nothing to advance the plot or set up any bit of the story, and the descriptors were overused. Concrete rippled, bridges rippled, roads rippled, the air rippled...you get the point.
The ending itself was too open-ended. I realize this is a planned series, but if you can't wrap up anything at the end of one book, what's going to make the reader want to read the next one? I would have at least liked to know if they were going to regroup at someone's house and start trying to help the people from other dimensions get home, or even if Detective Bohannon was still involved in any way. The way he was cut out from the last 20% of the book made me wonder if he was even necessary to begin with, other than as a "normal" bystander observing the strange phenomena.
I'm giving it 2.5 out of 5 stars because of the concept. The premise was really interesting and that's why I requested to read it. It wasn't executed particularly well, but it wasn't as bad as some of the other galleys I've read lately. It needs a more thorough editing to remove a lot of the over-descriptors and repeated verbs, along with wrong words and spelling errors and plot holes. If it hadn't already been released I would have suggested more of a polishing to make it seem less like an amateur novel, but we're past that point now.
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