Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: SilverMoonLight by Marah Woolf

Title: SilverMoonLight (MondLichtSaga #1)
Author: Marah Woolf
Publication Date: February 22, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Pages: 161
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"Even the very first time I saw you, I had the feeling that you wouldn’t be good for me."

Not even Emma’s worst nightmares could have prepared her for the dramatic change that takes place in her life. After the sudden death of her mother, she has no choice but to go and live with her Uncle and his family on the sleepy town of Portree on the Scottish Isle of Skye.

The last thing she expects is to fall in love there. From the very first moment she meets Calum, his mysterious aura captivates her. He casts a spell on her, and even his seeming disinterest does little to change this. His contradictory behaviour only adds to his allure. But before long this fassade begins to crumble, and eventually even he gives in to his feelings.

When he reveals his true identity to her one day, she flees from him. But it’s too late, for she has already fallen head over heels...

A fantastical, mythical book for all fans of Twilight and Co -- without vampires and werewolves, but with many other fascinating creatures that anyone would love to encounter. Immerse yourself in the story of Emma and Calum.

I fell in love with the cover of SilverMoonLight as soon as I saw it and after reading the blurb on Goodreads I just had to get my hands on a copy! This book started out strong. The opening chapters grab you and pull you in. The premise is entirely original - you won't find any vampires or werewolves here! Okay, that's a lie. You will, but they're not central to the story. The main characters are something entirely new, thanks to the Scottish mythology employed in the story. Unfortunately, there are some pretty blatant issues with this book as well.

The first problem (and one I can kind of forgive) is that it is very, very obviously translated to English from another language - in this case, German. There are far too many uses of the words "for" and "so." Here are a few examples:
"I was much more interested in his plans, for he would be finishing school a year before me." -page 112
"When we got there, I needed a moment to catch my breath, for we had walked at a pretty fast pace." -page 149
"Luckily Amelie was in the process of inhaling a third brownie, so Sophie made do without an answer" -page 44   
"My throat was dry, so I gulped down some diet coke." -page 83
Maybe I'm being nitpicky at this point, but it began to get under my skin about halfway through the book. It just reads in a really unnatural way. But like I said, that's the issue with translation. These weren't the only words that didn't seem to fit, just the most frequent.

The biggest issue with this book was that it seemed very rushed. Throughout the entire book there were instances where Emma would be in the middle of an activity and suddenly, "three months later..." Seriously, three months just gone! The author skips days and weeks where more detail would have been beneficial to fleshing out the story a bit more. For example, about halfway through the book the family takes a vacation. On this vacation, Emma and her cousin are walking to the old town "where everything is happening." Turn the page and it's the next day! I really wish the author had spent the adequate time to make this a more in-depth story. Similarly, there were a lot of easy fixes for the characters. There are notes all over my Kindle copy of this book pointing out some form of "too simple." There were solutions to issues that just didn't seem realistic and I think this goes hand in hand with the story being rushed to death.

Finally, the relationship between Emma and Calum didn't make much sense for me. It didn't seem genuine and the chemistry wasn't there. We constantly hear about Emma's desire, but where does it come from? The characters fall in love way too fast and with no obvious reason other than Calum's eyes (what is it with all of the YA men and their "impenetrable stares"?). Not only that, but both Emma and Calum are super wishy washy. They love each other, they ignore each other. Calum really just seems like an ass for a lot of the book. And I never did understand the purpose of Valerie's character.

I feel really awful for picking this book apart. I wanted to love it so much! It just didn't do it for me. That being said, I didn't have to stop in the middle and I did make it through so the story was enough to keep me reading. The ideas were original, but the execution was severely lacking. Though it ended on a cliffhanger, I really doubt I'll read the next one. I would still recommend this book to someone who wants a different kind of YA paranormal romance. Just don't expect perfection from SilverMoonLight.