6 Mar 2012

First Review

by Meredith Bond

Merry has asked a couple of people to read her novel and then to give a review of what they think about the story.  
As an author, I do believe that the public’s view is of extreme importance to what an author has to say. I mean they are the ones that are going to end up purchasing your novel and even help you get an award or two.
My reviews are a bit different from others and I pin point the bad with the good.  

What I have to say about Merry as an author is, that I think she is an excellent writer.
Her characters are beautiful developed which is one of the most important qualities when writing a novel and the way she describe feelings, emotions, desire and even erotic moments leaves you with a sensation of what her characters are going through at that exact moment. It’s an art and a quality that can be developed, and without it, the story has no wings to fly.
Is she a good story teller - now that is a different story?
To be an amazing author you need to be able to do both.
I found that Merry really struggles to get into hers with her opening chapters. She didn’t hook me at all with her first four chapters, even with her Prologue. The story didn’t make sense and felt that I have to start over trying to get what it is she was trying to tell. It was really confusing and felt a bit disappointed because her story really has all the elements of a good book. I think for an author it is a big negative and to be able to capture your readers, hooking them from the first page is a gift and true signs of a good story teller.
I have to admit, if she didn’t ask me to do this review I was going to put the book down and wouldn’t even bother to pick it up again.  
Thank heavens I didn’t.
One of the things that I hate about a novel is struggling to get through every single page. I don’t care how good the story is or even if it is turned into a movie. If I struggle to get through pages, I don’t even finish with the first chapter. A good example is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Meredith’s novel does the opposite.
It reads like a dream, although the first chapters were boring and confusing.  
It is her gift as a writer and has made it easier for me to carry on reading.
She keeps her chapters sweet and short and don’t irritate you by repeating the same words, like some authors do.
It is one of the things I love about her and because of that, I will read another novel of hers anytime. She has a skill with developing and playing with words and my favorite comes out of chapter four – fanciful thought.
I don’t know why I love it, but I do. 
 Chapter five is what I call the magic chapter.
It is the turning point of this novel. It is where Merry finally hooked me and turns her novel into a real page turner. The chapter was not just beautiful written but the story started to develop and everything that didn’t make sense in the first chapters start to come together. It is where she became a story teller and not just a good writer. You realize who is related to whom, and what is important to each and every single character. Chapters like this are what make readers read a book more than just once, but you need every single chapter to be the magic chapter. I really struggle to put the book down after this one and couldn’t wait to discover of what is going too happened next.
After chapter five, I still find here and there the odd chapter that could have been crafted better but she always manage to throw you with a curve or an event that put the magic right back into gear.
There were parts where I smiled, blush and even giggle but the thing I have to praise Meredith for is that she didn’t turn her female MC into a slut. So many writers do it now a days and it’s one of the things that makes me put down the book and never buy anything from that author again.
No Marry does it the old fashion way. Her characters get to know one another first before jumping into the sack and give the readers a chance of falling in love with them too. She kept it real, ten hurray’s for Meredith.
 Magic in the Storm is not the type of book that I would pick up and read, although I love magic and the elements of it, still it doesn’t make me read just anything.
I have to say that I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this one.  It is a Jane Austen with a paranormal element.
The fact that it play off in an era where big dresses and balls were highly fashionable, almost put me off immediately. It’s not that I don’t love the era, I do but were disappointed so many times with the story line it self. I find most of them boring. Magic in the Storm proofed me wrong.
The book has a very good story line which I am not going to discuss, Merry does it better than me and will leave it up to her for you to discover. All I am going to say that it is about a family born with magic (known as Vallens) surrounded by a prophecy that is given to the wrong sex. The most powerful of them all is a priestess and a mother that is as sly as the devil it self and have an ability she use to her own advantage, fighting hard against the prophecy and believe with all of her hard that her youngest son is worthless and not the person this prophecy speaks off. Without any special abilities, except being able to heal the sick, the bearer (which is this evil priestess’s youngest son) of the prophecies doesn’t lose hope and as he finally meet the love of his life, his other abilities start to grow. It is an amazing story with a message that has been used so many times, but still a classic. Love conquers all.
I promise if you pass the first four chapters you will love it as much as I have.
Magic in the storm was a breeze of fresh air and will recommend it to all of my friends without hesitation.
Well done Merry, you have gained a new fan.

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