Oh my God, where to even start with reviewing this book?
Okay, it is exceptionally, intelligently plotted. The plot twists are surprising and smart, the moral quandaries meaningful and moving. As far as story and world-building goes, Elizabeth C Mock has come up with something to rival Brandon Sanderson or Jacqueline Carey.
“Wait,” you’re asking. “If this is the case, why have I never heard of this amazing fantasy author?”
Because, dear reader, her writing is incredibly bad. So terrible that I was going to give up after the prologue. Before I took that desperate step, though, I went to Goodreads to see what others thought of the book. Fortunately, the reviews were uniformly encouraging, even as they warned that the book was in urgent need of a good editor. And while that is true to a certain extent, what the book really needs is an author with more experience in writing and, dare I say, reading. The book feels like it was written by an exceptionally deep teenage girl, one with more experience of ideas than with actual conversations and human behavior. The dialog… no, it’s not fair to call it that. Instead, it’s mostly repartee, requiring far too much suspension of disbelief to read without feeling just exhausted. The prose otherwise ranges from decent to awful, which is likely why it took so long for me to finish an otherwise intriguing book. If you’re the kind of person who can overlook bad grammar and an adolescent idea of sparkling conversation, then by all means, this is the fantasy book for you. For everyone else, I hear tell that the author got a book deal with a publisher for this trilogy, and as they’ll likely shape it up pre-publication, I’d recommend waiting for that version to come out. I’m certain Elizabeth C Mock will come up with some amazing novels in future, and will look back on this version of Shatter wincingly, as great authors look back on their immature works. I’m looking forward to reading her stuff when that happens, but will happily wait till then.