27 June 2011

Post 397: Feast

Feast by Merrie Destefano. ISBN: 9780061990823 (eGalley - publishes June 28, 2011).

Oh Readerlings, I do this to myself. Occasionally I will volunteer to read a book that I know, I know, is not going to be good. Why do I do this to myself? What sick satisfaction do I get from reading something I know I won't like?

Blah, blah, blah, something about expanding my experiences and being able to know when this happens: "Hey, you got good writing in my bad writing." "You got bad writing in my good writing!" This is not a great taste, but sometimes you just swallow it because you need to know what happens next and the only way to do that is to let it go through your literary digestive tract. Mmm, pulpy.

This is a book that has a tiny bit of good writing in a lot of bad writing. No, let me take that back, it has a lot of good imagination in slightly more bad writing. The pacing was wrong, there was no build up to the big monster reveal, and I couldn't tell if the monsters were supposed to be sympathetic bad guys or bad sympathetic guys. Also... omg the pity party. This book has more emo-fest packed into it than my last year and a half of unemployment and being in a long distance relationship and the fact that I feel totally worthless that I can't provide for myself and no one wants to take advantage of all this sexy, sexy librarian brain meat I have goin' on.

But... the Darklings are interesting. And now it is time for some advice to writers. The problem with creating and writing mythical creatures is knowing where to draw the line about how much to reveal to the reader. It's okay that you have all these facts and what not that you've come up with about them, that you have built centuries of legends around them, but unless you are going to tell us that story, we might not need to know every detail. Part of the fun of reading about imaginary creatures is thinking about what they might be able to do, rather than what we already know about them. That's what's so fun about the influx of paranormal. We have this excellent baseline of knowledge about the creatures already, but then we get to see what someone else has done with them. With something like the Darklings, it's either necessary to build up the myth slowly or give just enough exposition and world building so that we aren't stumbling through the first 50 pages or so trying to piece together what it is we're reading about. I would go ahead and tell you, readers, what a Darkling is, but if you have any interest at all in this book that might just ruin it for you.

Do you have a favorite monster or imaginary creature? Have you made your own? How do you like your monster stories? Do you prefer having a bunch of world building/back story or a big reveal at the end?

My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: Free review copy provided by NetGalley.

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