Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week's review is Dark Bayou by Nancy K. Duplechain. This is the first book in the Dark Trilogy.

BlurbWhen Leigh Benoit returns home to Louisiana for the funeral of her brother and his wife, she becomes increasingly concerned about the welfare of her orphaned niece, Lyla. She is prompted by her grandmother, Clothilde, to move back to take care of her. Leigh has no desire to take on any responsibility, and being home again brings back painful memories.

At the funeral, Leigh’s childhood friend, Detective Lucas Castille, tells her the mysterious details of the accident that killed her brother and his wife. Lucas’ young son has dreams of a Dark Man who wishes to harm Lyla. Leigh begins to have similar dreams.

She struggles with her rational mind but vows to protect her niece. Soon, she finds out there is more to the story and more to her grandmother than she thought.

ReviewI was looking forward to reading this book and I was drawn into the story from the very beginning. Unfortunately, the main character, Leigh Benoit, was hard to like at times. She was snappish and rude to her grandmother for unexplained reasons. She seemed immature for her age. Throughout the book, she wanted to run back to Los Angeles and leave everything she didn't want to deal with behind her in Louisiana regardless of what would happen to her niece and grandmother.

There were misspellings i.e. "...staring to walk off" and grammar issues that at times pulled me out of the story because I had to go back and reread a sentence or paragraph. There were also other editing issues such as dialogue tags. For example, it's common practice to have a line of dialogue followed by the speaking character's name and then said, asked, etc. i.e. "Sam said." In some places, the author used, "said Clothilde" and "said Lyla."

There were also a lot of Point of View (POV) problems. Just a few examples are:
  •  "...and it showed on my face." She can't see her own expression unless she can see her reflection so how does she know her emotion/reaction is mirrored on her face?
  • "I turned to him, silent, but my eyes showed my gratitude." How does she know what her eyes are showing? She can't see her own eyes unless she can see her reflection. 
  •  "Lyla dug her face in my hip to keep from screaming out loud." How does she know that's the reason Lyla is digging her face in her hip? Considering the scene, it would be just as plausible that the young girl was hiding her face so she couldn't see what was happening.
  •  "I closed my eyes, trying to hold myself together. This alarmed Lucas even more."  First her eyes are closed, she can't see his reaction. Secondly, he doesn't do or say anything that shows he's alarmed. He just says, "I should take you home." She doesn't open her eyes until after he speaks.
There are also formatting issues with huge breaks between paragraphs, sometimes leaving half a page or more blank. There are paragraphs of different characters's dialogue, thoughts, and movements all jumbled together instead of being set out separately.

The story itself was engrossing and at times could be described as a page turner, but the editing and formatting issues became distracting.

Rating3 Stars

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