"Jacob" by Jacquelyn Frank

I finally read it, this book that has been loitering around my home for months. Am I glad that I did? Well, sort of. The concept for the series, "The Nightwalkers," is interesting. Demons with elemental powers who are really a seperate species -- like vamps, lycanthropes, and other spookies in the underworld. In this first book we meet Jacob, the enforcer of Demon laws. Jacob has done the forbidden, involved himself with a human, Isabella Russ. But there's more to Isabella than even she knows, especially her role in the Demons' war against necromancers.

Like I said, Frank presents an interesting concept and I enjoyed the story. I had a consistent problem with the actual writing, though. In general it's just too poetic. As in good poetry -- her descriptions of the characters feelings is often beautiful and vivid and she sure knows how to pick her verbs. But in several instances the price for beauty was urgency, and a 7% tax of cheesiness. Also, there were holes in the story, which I see as Frank taking the easy way out in her writing. Her transitions between scenes basically suck. Three days go by all of a sudden with only disjointed comments to fill in the blanks, nothing so orienting as "Isabella sighed and looked around the dusty archive where she'd spent most of the last few days, though Noah had set her up in one of the guestrooms." Frank seems to forget she's got an audience. And [spoiler alert] the whole set-up with Bella's sister, Corrine, was poorly done. Summary: they find out Bella's a Druid, never stop the realize her relatives are most likely Druids as well, and stumble across Bella's sister near the end of the book and everyone's frantic to bring Corrine into the fold. Bella's all, "oh, I can't believe I never thought about it, and me supposedly the really smart Druid." And Jacob's all, "oh, I can't believe it never occurred to me either." Rinse and repeat for several characters. Which leads me to say, "I can't believe it, either. And since even your characters can't understand this breach in logic, clearly you need to go back and rework the story."

So now I'm left with a problem: I like this series, I just don't like the way it's written. There are three books out currently, with two more released this summer. I'm very tempted to read the second book, despite my misgivings, because Gideon is an interesting character and his and Magdalena's relationship has that love-hate thing going on, which is always a party. What to do, what to do.

1 comment:

  1. So, I've been informed that "Gideon" licks. Ah, well, seven bucks saved.