Book Review: Fractured Legend
The premise stated above is a very, very promising one. It has the potential to be built up into a substantial, moving, gut-wrenching gripping emotional story that catches you by the gut and wrings you dry. That is the expectation I had when I picked this book to review. While the story is true to the promise- it leaves you with a feeling that you have been wrung out, it gives a sad melancholy feeling – but sadly, it fails to touch your heart and create a bonding between you and the characters involved. Throughout, it remains just that: a story, and never goes beyond that.
The problem in the book is at several levels. But first, the good points. First off, the plot is promising and emotional. Second - the story –such as it is – holds considerable promise. Third, the author’s attention to detail has got to be commended. His descriptive grasp of each situation as well as his imagination is quite remarkable. I, for one, have no doubts that with a little evolution in writing style, this same author will reach heights, since he has imagination, and a flair to put himself in other people’s shoes. This imagination means that the image of each scene is vividly created in the readers’ mind. This is not a common quality by any means.
The problems, as I noted above, are at several levels . First off, expectations. The expectation you have upon reading the back-cover is one of a book of a taut narrative, an emotional thriller with a human background, a book that dwells both upon thrills as well as emotions. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. To deal with this problem, the publisher needs to change the description on the back cover so as to attract the right clientele for this book.
Second, the characterization is non-existent. You are just unable to relate to principal characters, or imagine or realize their personality traits or physical characteristics. These descriptions, if they are present, get lost in the narrative somewhere. This inability to visualize the character you are reading about means that you are just unable to bond and connect with the book as a reader. For, the story is an excruciatingly slow one. In such a plot, the basic need is that the characters should be painted with bold colours and strength, clearly defined, which binds the reader. This binding factor is sorely missing.
Third, the writing style is way too descriptive. A credible attempt has been made at creating a vivid image in the readers mind., as I noted above. However, these descriptions should add to the story, take the story forward. In this book, in my opinion, these descriptions come across as unnecessary, and do not add to the story. After a couple of such paragraphs you realize that you can safely skip these descriptions, and still carry on with the story. After a time, it becomes a little too much. All in all, this book could have been cut into a short story of 70-90 pages as opposed to 180, and still not lose anything. If anything, this will make the story into an incredibly powerful one.
Fourth, the penchant of the author to write a paragraph in the present, followed by a paragraph in the past. At times, even within the same paragraph you get this vacillation. This hampers your understanding of the story. In fact, it becomes quite jarring with each passing page doing the same thing. The whole story seems in consonance with the title: fractured. This contributes in a major towards hampering your connect with the plot.
All in all, I rate this book 2 stars out of 10. I am not saying this is a bad book; I am not the target audience for this book…. The problem for me was not in the story, which was an excellent premise. The story was logical, well-thought-out – no issues there. I was just unable to connect with the characters in the book due to the excessive detail…