I tend to get my books in many different ways. Sometimes I get them through my kindle, sometimes I buy a paperback at Barnes and Noble and sometimes I buy them through Amazon. In this case I saw the ebook advertised somewhere and I decided to give it a shot. It helped that the ebook was free, but I bought the audible version for cheap so that I could listen to it via Whyspersinc. By the way if you're not using Whyspersinc may I politely but forcefully recommend it? As a side note, I have decided to add an audio critique section to article that I listen to. Ok, on with the critique.
The Critique First off, Turned is a teen vampire book, which I must state at the beginning is not my typical fare and probably affects my opinion about the book so take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt. The book revolves around a girl named Caitlin Paine, a teenage girl who has just moved to New York from a town. That's all we know because the author always referred to the place from which the protagonist had moved as 'our last town.' This should have been a warning to me but I ignored it and blithely continued forward. Caitlin discovers at a certain point in the book that she is in fact a vampire, at which discovery she is 'shocked'. I use this word deliberately because it stuck in my craw after the author used it about ten times in a five page span.
What I liked Um, let's see. OOh, the cover! I really liked the image used for the cover. The typography was decent and it read as a vampire novel. It was really the thing that drew me to the book and reason I read it. Unfortunately there isn't much else to talk about here.
What I didn't like I found the book to be cliche, predictable, and trite. Full of teen vampire cliches and really lacked any kind of understandable romance. The main character falls in love with two different boys literally seconds after meeting them. Listen I'm all for fantasy but the romance portions should at least be believable. I found the writing weak and the character development non-existent. The main character's behavior is so inconsistent that I felt absolutely no connection to her at all. This book desperately needed a good editor, or at least a good writers group to go through and fix all the abundant plot inconsistencies and really add nuance to the story.
Audio Critique This may have been the worst part of the book. Having a good narrator is second only to having a good story when you consume books via someone else reading it to you. Listening to this narrator was like listening to a skit from the Kroll Show but without any humor. I just about lost it (not in a good way) when she pronounced condescension as "condensension," and cringed when she attempted to affect a mans voice. Not a good performance.
Overall I understand that this was a self published book, and while I wholeheartedly support those brave and sometimes foolhearty souls who feel that they can go it alone, this book did not measure up to any kind of publishing standard at all. When I started the book, I really wanted to write a post about how an indie had done it right. I was practically itching to write that post, and based off of the cover I thought this might be my chance. My disappointment is practically palpable. Giving it more than one star is simply unthinkable.