Review Plateau: @KitCampbell's Shards

So, second review is for Shards, by Kit Campbell. First thing I figured out: whilst I don't regret buying an autographed print copy, I'd have done better to get a Kindle version. I like print copies, don't get me wrong… but I am finding I read more things if I can read them on my computer.

Same rules: I spoil as I see fit.

It also makes reviewing a hell of a lot easier.

That said, I'm of two minds about Shards. There is one major problem with Shards, in my opinion and it's not the story. A story blurb needs to tell you enough to get you interested. Kit's choice of back cover blurb does that, in quite an effective manner. However, I feel that in trying to engage potential readers, the blurb spoils the story: I found myself reading the story and being able to predict what would happen, thanks to the blurb.

Perhaps I'm stupid, but I never do that. I read a book, and everything comes as a complete surprise. I've predicted an event in a proper readthrough of a book one time.

On the other hand… there is no point in reading a book if you don't care about the characters or what happens.

As I said in the last review, I think people should do whatever they want, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Of course there are some exceptions to what I'm going to say next—there always are exceptions. Hasn't been a rule made that there's no exception to in my experience. I also believe that there is a point where no one has the right to dictate terms to you.

From a logical viewpoint, I can understand and perhaps appreciate that Eva's mother is concerned about her daughter and wants only the best for her daughter. Unfortunately, I cannot respond to Eva's mother logically, only emotionally. Because of that, I viewed Eva's interactions with her mother in the light of Eva having terms dictated to her and this pissed me off no end. Eve is an adult and as such, can do whatever she wants. The consequences of doing so, good or bad, are hers to deal with.

So I read in part to see if Eva would smack her mother down. I guess that makes me weird.

Kit wrote Shards in third person… damnit, I never am able to keep track of this without looking at Wikipedia and who knows if I'll even intepret it correctly… subjective, alternating between her two main characters, Eva and Michael. This was a good move, as Michael knew far more than Eva and I personally found it interesting to compare Eva's thoughts to the reality. Another reason I kept reading. However, his superior knowledge combined with the blurb to make things obvious that Kit probably wanted to be mysterious.

There are seven characters within Shards, and Kit handles them with fluid grace; each is distinct with various differing motives. Something I'm never quite sure I manage, so I'm impressed when someone else manages it. Which is the final reason I kept reading. Make me care about your characters, and I'll keep reading.

Is Shards flawed? I don't think so. Kit has clearly had fun with writing Shards and that's not a bad thing. Had I read Shards as a finished draft, I would have been more surprised, yes. But the story itself is solid, written well. Perhaps it verges into the ridiculous on occasion—see above statement on Kit's having fun—however, I don't see that as a bad thing. It made me laugh.

We could all use a little more laughter.

I believe Shards rates a nine out of ten.

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