Blue at Midnight by S.D. Wile – book review

 Blue at Midnight || S.D. Wile || Fantasy ||194 pages || Createspace || 4.20 on Goodreads

An unexpected death, a forbidden betrayal ignites a hatred that is set to destroy a curiosity that blossoms into a love between a human, and a stranger from the depths of the ocean. An intrusion has occurred! Who is to blame? Which side will pay with the lives of their innocent? The Children of Orsa or the humans? Blue at Midnight is a thrilling fantastical journey that will take you through the shocking events that took place, in a small dreary town. This is just the beginning…

Thank you very much to Goodreads that sent me a free copy of this book!

I wasn’t particular impressed with this book. The writing style was what let it down and I didn’t feel like the action or the characters were interesting enough for me to keep reading. I always force myself to read at least a third of the book before deciding if I want to keep reading or not. The same was with this book but after 70 pages, I decided to put it down.

THE HIGHS

I’m going to start off by saying that this book wasn’t a total disaster for me. I believe the idea was interesting and definitely had the potential to be a great fantasy story. I haven’t encountered many good underwater worlds before and even if I wouldn’t count the world in this book as one, it is definitely interesting to think about and if it was developed enough and built differently, I would have liked it more than I did.

THE LOWS

From the very first page I knew I wasn’t going to like this writing style, which may sound harsh, but that very first page showed me a lot of no-no’s that I really dislike, not even a fantasy book but in a book in general. Just looking at it, I feared that it was too short to be a good fantasy novel, which is very prejudice of me but I have yet to read a fantasy book of 200 pages or less and feel like the world was properly built.  Blue at Midnight is not the book that convinced me otherwise.

I felt like the world was being forced onto the readers a great amount. The fantasy elements handed over without much of an explanation or a back story. There’s an enormous amount of  directly telling the reader about the world as opposed to exploring it and letting the reader gather information. For example, on page 7 we meet a character by the name of Sebastian who we are told that he was ‘most arrogant, darkest and hard-hearted,’ before he even speaks or is described.

The author is very economical with her description and that’s not bad thing within a writing style. I’ve seen many authors that use limited description and it has worked out good because it’s what worked for them and their story. Unfortunately, I don’t think this style works well for fantasy. With this genre you need world-building, you need vivid images, you need that description. It’s one of the most effective ways to build a world and I don’t think the author has realised that.

This is kind of a minor point but I really hate when there’s switching between first and third person in books. We had Izzie’s POV in first person and then all of the Orsa parts of the book in third person with switching POVs (even in the middle of a chapter) so there’s constant flipping of first and third person which really ruins the flow of the story for me and that’s part of the reason why it too me longer than usual to read it.

And lastly, I thought the story had elements of drama in there that just weren’t really explained or explored as much as I would have liked them to have been. There’s suicide, suicidal thoughts, murder and bullying that could have been developed more and it makes me wonder if they have simply been put there for the sake of it or perhaps just the dramatic effect.

RATING: [1/5] – I didn’t finish it so I can’t give it any more than one star.

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