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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: Drowned Sorrow

Drowned Sorrow by Vanessa Morgan
Publisher: Llumina Press
Pub. Date: December 2nd, 2008
Pages: 188
Age Level: 14+ (Adult/Non-YA book)
Source: For review from author.

Synopsis via Goodreads Megan Blackwood has just lost her son in a terrible accident. Now she has come to Moonlight Creek with her teenage daughter Jenna, hoping a change of scenery might help to put her life back together.

But something odd is going on in Moonlight Creek. When rain falls over the village, its inhabitants commit grisly murders, leaving the place deserted with the first rays of sunshine.

Beneath the lake's surface, an eerie presence watches... and waits... Waits to reveal a tragic past drowned in mystery and fear. One that doesn't bode well for visitors.

By the time Megan realizes that her daughter's life is in danger, it may be too late to escape.

How I hate it when I have to do this. I like to think I do an excellent job picking out books for myself. Fact of the matter is, sooner or later, I always come across one that just doesn't do it for me. I'm afraid that for this review I'm going to have to put the cute, raving little pixie up on a shelf and bring out...the troll. *dun dun dun duuuun*

In the beginning, I thought the characters started out fairly well. The main character, Megan, was by no means the most likable character. Ironically enough, I found that I actually liked that she wasn't likable and still felt she was both raw and realistic. The daughter, Jenna, was neither here nor there for me and I often felt that she either acted too young or too old for age. So, we're on our way to Moonlight Creek and, at this point, Megan is kinda growing on me. However, it is once Megan and her daughter arrive in Moonlight Creek that any respect I had for either of them starts dwindling. The place is deserted and Megan feels something isn't quite right but she's determined to make this little vacation work, and I could understand that. But I'm sorry, once I'd walked into the only grocery store in town to find it stocked with nothing but water, it would have been go time for me. It's downhill from here. Megan became a bit wayward and wishy washy, feeling or thinking something one minute and then it's the complete opposite the next. For example, on more than one occasion, Megan is completely freaked out by the stuff going on in Moonlight Creek and is ready to pack her bags and skedaddle. Then all of a sudden, that urge to flee seems to have just dissipated. I also felt both Megan and Jenna to be totally oblivious at times. It was kinda like in those bad horror movies where you see the hapless victim walking towards her demise. As it worked out, I thought some of the side characters--such as Kenny, Giselle, Gary, and Mark--were better written. Though I've gotta say, I didn't feel particularly connected to any of them.

Drowned Sorrow showed great potential with its story line. I thought the idea and imagining behind Moonlight Creek was dark and creepy but I wanted more history. I wanted to know more about the why's and how's. I know sometimes we aren't meant to know everything but I really felt the story behind Moonlight Creek should have been elaborated on more. It sometimes felt like there were gaps, like I was just missing something. Another thing, I wish Morgan had started out more subtly about the oddities and freakishness of the town because I constantly found it hard to believe that Megan and Jenna continued staying there with everything that happened.

The writing was easily my least favorite part. It often felt better suited to a script than a book. There was barely any rhythm or emotion and it often felt disjointed. I thought transitions between changing scenes, perspectives, etc, could have been more detailed and flowed more smoothly. The pacing was also inconsistent, sometimes moving quickly and sometimes dragging along. While I liked getting different views of what was happening, the various perspectives didn't always seem to match up. Almost like it wasn't the same people, or place, that were in another perspective. Though I can kind of see where such different outlooks from the numerous characters could occur. The one thing I did feel was well done, though, was the sense of foreboding, and sometimes even chills, that the writing gave me.

Now for my favorite part, the ending, which was the perfect blend of demise and a little glimmer of hope. True, I still have questions about certain things but, in general, I quite liked how Morgan tied things up. There was a well timed twist towards the end that I definitely didn't see coming and thought was pretty clever. Here's what I didn't like though. At one point, during the dramatic climax-soon-to-be-ending, Megan gives me the impression she has it all figured out and I'm like, "Finally you see what's going on!" Then something else happens and she's all of a sudden back to, "What's happening?" *smacks forehead with hand and shakes head hopelessly*

In all honesty, Drowned Sorrow fell short of my expectations. The book wasn't all bad, it had some redeeming qualities and I can tell the author has got some talent. However, I think there were quite a few things that could have been done more adequately. I have to admit though, while this book took me longer to read than it should have, whenever I wasn't reading it, I often found my mind wondering back to it. It was one of those books that kinda stuck with me and while not spectacular, I can't deny its memorability. So, here's what it comes down to. Would I recommend this? The majority of the reviews and ratings I've seen for this have been positive and while I don't think I'd read this again, I do believe it was worth reading the first time. In other words, if the premise appeals to you, go for it.

Characters: C-
Writing: D+
Plot: C
Ending: B-
Enjoyment/Likability: C-
Recommendable: C

Overall: C-

Cover: C


Naj said...

Yesh, I don't think I'd like this book either. Honestly speaking you weren't trollie like when writing this! You still sounded nice. :D Anyways, reading the synopsis itself I didn't like. haha. Oh wells! Great review! Thanks for it.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

This one sounds interesting enough from the synopsis, but I'm not sure if it's something I would have picked up. It's too bad it didn't live up to your expectations, but at least it gave you that chill factor.

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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