Render by Elizabeth C Mock

Not as good as the first in the series, but still above average. Once again, the magic theory was compelling, and I love Ms Mock’s overall plotting and world-building. The characters are flawed and believable, but… as with the first book, the overall writing is horrendous. Grammar and spelling are secondary, and what is it with young female American writers and a complete aversion to the proper use of the past continuous tense? The worst part, tho, was the excruciating dialog. For example, there was one chapter where Kade called everyone “mate” for no reason whatsoever, then never did it again (to which the latter, thank God!) Though there are lovely, insightful passages like this one to make up for it:

“[S]he gravitated to him like a starving person to food. She knew she shouldn’t feel this way about him. Reminding herself of this fact, however, failed to change her emotions. If she couldn’t control her emotions, she could control the choices she made.”

Okay, so it’s not the greatest piece of writing, but it’s pretty deep for a fantasy novel, and I am clearly having Personal Issues here. Which did not, however, serve to make me overlook the one particularly atrocious chapter that seemed to serve only to anvil it home for the particularly dense how high-minded Kade’s love for Faela is. This book is great for people who want a fairly complex fantasy novel and aren’t too bothered by sub-par English/writing, but if the latter really bothers you, skip this hard.

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