Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Review: Beautifully Broken (Spellbound Series, #1) by Sherry Soule

Beautifully Broken (Spellbound Series #1)

Author: Sherry Soule

Purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Synopsis: They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Whispering Pines. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse…

Sixteen-year-old Shiloh Ravenwolf is a heritage witch from the Broussard family, a family both destined and cursed. After she takes a summer job at Ravenhurst Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan. But Trent may be the next victim on the supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him. 

Complicated much?

After receiving cryptic messages from a creepy wraith, and then frightening threats from a demon, Shiloh finally begins to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist. Now Shiloh must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.

Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.

Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz

Review: Upon reading the synopsis to Beautifully Broken I was definitely excited to receive a copy from the author and jump in! I love me a good story involving demons, magic and curses. There were many great elements to Beautifully Broken but they failed to live up to the expectations of my excitement.

The book is filled with idea of mystical powers and a powerful legacy of magic, children being taken by some mysterious enemy, demons lurking in the shadows waiting to attack, ghosts bringing cryptic messages, a young girl coming of age and discovering some spooky powers. You figured this would make for good story telling and it would . . . if the execution followed through as well as the concept behind the story. The problem: the two main leads.

Shiloh Ravenwolf is supposed to come off snarky, bold and feisty but her characterization falls short. Instead she comes off shallow, weak minded and weak willed, whinny, and a nervous wreck. Even though she’s a sixteen year old and some of her actions can be passed off as someone who’s young and is learning, especially when it comes to her reactions about her latest crush, she is just far too immature which made reading very difficult since the book is narrated from her perspective. Trent is the rich, cocky, charming hottie with the bad boy reputation. The problem is Trent from the beginning doesn’t really come off cocky or as the bad boy type. His personality falls flat no matter the attempts in dialogue to make him sound much cooler than he’s actually coming off. He’s just bland and the only real reason Shiloh thinks they belong together is because he’s hot and some mysterious strange energy between the two of them (insert eye roll).

The saving grace of Beautifully Broken is the world building itself. The small Victorian like town, especially the Victorian styled house of Ravenhurst, offered a sense of foreboding and played as the back drop for the major suspenseful scenes. The suspense throughout many scenes was done well enough, offering a good amount of tension and fraught with a tight fear.
But the dialogue was often far too long winded and felt force, especially in the moments where either Shiloh or Trent would try to be funny. They’re banter came off lacking any real connection between the two. The narration was far too melodramatic and never found a way to loosen Shiloh’s inability to be strong or to finally discover common sense. There was also a GREAT deal of repetition, whether with Shiloh’s feelings for Trent or her fears of the shadows or the description of Ravenhurst. There was also a lot of stating the obvious as if the reader wasn’t already aware of a scene or conversation that happened only a few paragraphs up.

I would suggest borrowing the book from a friend if you want to give it a chance to read or waiting for it to come out free on Amazon. 

About the Author: Sherry Soule is the bestselling author of the acclaimed YA Spellbound series. She writes urban fantasy, an odd hybrid of the horror genre that includes elements of mystery, romance, fantasy, and suspense for teens and adults. Sherry lives with her family and one very spoiled black cat in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. Right now, she’s working on a few different young adult series:Spellbound and Tales of a Teenage Succubus. Her edgy young adult books are tailored for readers 14 years and older. And she has written a paranormal adult novel, Immortal Eclipse.

Sherry briefly owned an online publishing company in 2002, and she is a former Acquisitions Editor for Crescent Moon Press. She was a Creative Writing major in college and studied the craft for over ten years. She has won numerous awards for her short stories and online articles. She is a member of RWA, SCBWI, and YALITCHAT.

Sherry’s life changed dramatically when she lost her job in 2009 and was out of work for almost two years. To keep from falling into a hopeless depression, she turned back to her first love—writing fiction. Getting her stories published has been a long journey for Sherry, who decided to go the Indie publishing route after several traditional publishers turned her YA manuscript down. Editors and agents loved the storyline, but didn’t think it fit the needs of the current market.

Discouraged, but convinced that there was a readership for her work, she published her first novel with a small press and began intensely marketing it on the Internet. Her debut young adult novel, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN was published August 2011 by Moonlight Publishing. To her delight and surprise, the novel was praised and endorsed by book reviewers and readers everywhere.

Where to Find the Author

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and write this thoughtful review of my novel. I do appreciate your perspective, and I realize that we all have different tastes in literature and that reading and reviewing is subjective.

    I hope others will still decide to check out my series for themselves. ;-)

    Happy reading,
    Hey! Check out My Books


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