Immortal Writers by Jill Bowers Release Date: November 5, 2016 Publisher: Blue Moon Publishers Fantasy Stand Alone Book*** Number of Pages: 296 Kindle Edition Source: received ARC from Net Galley Rating: PG-13 Read 9/11/16 to 9/22/16
I am beyond frustrated trying to write a review for this book. There were aspects of the story that I absolutely loved, yet it dragged for me. There’s actually a point coming up on the climax that I noted, “I should be anxious and excited for the climax but I just want it over so I can move on.” And I still couldn’t just be quit reading and put it under the “not finished” heading.
The whole concept of this story is wonderful. Wonderful writers are given immortal life due to the strength of their writing. The readers get to meet authors from William Shakespeare to Jane Austen to Douglas Adams. The flaw in this is that the actual author, Jill Bowers, does not include any living authors (besides the character in her book, Liz) to this mix although I feel Piers Anthony or J.K. Rowling could have been very helpful in Liz’s mission. I’m sure this is due to licensing and such, but it seemed glaringly obvious to me.
The heroine of the story, Liz, is supposed to be a young up and coming author that has already won awards for her first book. It is my understanding that Liz is 18 years old. Now I know a lot of very mature 18 year old woman. The problem is Liz isn’t one of them. On one hand that works out, like at the beginning of the book when she’s not being very assertive with her boyfriend and instead allows an event to occur that she should have seen coming and should have stopped. I chalked that up to her age and inexperience. But then we’re being told that Liz has had quite the rough life and should have enough world experience to not only know better, but to stand up for herself. Somehow, Liz’s personality never quite felt defined to me. And the timeline of the life events she went through didn’t seem to add up. I wish she would have been written as a 25 year old just so things could have made a bit more sense.
As I was reading there were passages I had to reread due to their clunky-ness. When I realized how clunky some of the writing was, I realized that was also one of my problems with Liz. Her dialogue seemed stilted and unnatural at times. Especially for a woman who is supposed to be an immortal writer. There’s even one part where she is told “words are the most powerful and basic form of magic” and she, as a writer, actually says she never thought of them that way. What?!? And I’m supposed to believe she deserves to be with the likes of Anne McCaffrey and J.R.R. Tolkien? Not likely!
There are times I get annoyed with books that tell me things but don’t show me. I found it strange that this book actually showed me things…and then for some reason decided to tell me, too. It got repetitive and irritating. As did the retelling of Liz’s book. Not that it is a retelling to the reader since we haven’t read Liz’s novel, but the characters had to get a refresher on how the magic worked in her fictional world and they always seemed to use the same type of phrasing. It’s very hard to explain what I mean without giving away key points, but it added to the feeling of repetition.
One last bone of contention I had was the characterization of some of the (real life) famous authors. I can’t help but think the author is not a fan of Jane Austen as she made her out to be a bit flighty and boy crazy. This is grossly inaccurate and just perpetuates a stereotype. Ms. Bowers also uses a lot of stereotypes to paint her picture of Edgar Allan Poe. If these would have been broad caricatures meant as satire I could look past them and maybe even chuckle; but that’s not how it came across. It actually came across as a tad bitter or disgruntled for some reason.
The crazy thing is, at the end of the ARC I was given to read of this book ***there is an excerpt for Immortal Creators that seemed very interesting. Although Immortal Writers left a lot to be desired, the concept is wonderful. I would actually consider reading Immortal Creators in the hopes that the author’s writing and execution of story have improved with experience.