One of my favorite things about this book is how, despite its terse page count, it doesn’t feel like a novella, but like a full length novel. The writer has a fabulous ability to cram a ton of story and character development into a very small page count. Speaking as a professional writer myself, I can tell you, that’s no easy thing to do. Rob’s prose sparkles on many levels, not the least of which is the copy-editing. I have an eye for catching typos and awkward phrases, and it’s not unusual for me to find these even in published books from major publishing houses, far less self-published books, which are often far guiltier violators. It’s a tribute to Rob’s commitment to excellence that this is one of the cleanest published manuscripts I’ve ever read.
But on to the stuff that really matters. For those of you who enjoy books with strong, compelling female leads, look no further. For a guy, this author does “chick lit” (a bona fide wattpad genre in case you were interested) like nobody’s business. His hero, Kal Moonheart, is warm, likable, and just sheer fun, with an appetite for danger and a fearlessness and disrespect for authority that you know is going to get her into trouble in short order that will be next to impossible for her to extract herself from. But her character traits do lend themselves to a nail-biting collection of cliff hangers.
The one thing that took me a while to adjust to was that Rob isn’t one for using period-appropriate language. Some readers will find this off-putting, while others will find it grants them a way into the novel, and makes it that much easier to bond with the characters, without feeling like they have to take a class in medieval lit just to keep up. At times in Act 1, I found this a bit jangling to the nerves, but eventually I settled into the logic of the approach.
One other caveat, this story isn’t told in a linear fashion. That also takes some getting used to. But once again, Rob uses this effect to highlight suspense, amplify the already adrenaline stoked pace of the novel, and I suspect it is also one of his well kept secrets for keeping the page count down. Once he messes with your sense of what comes next, and gets you sold on his rationale for connecting the dots, he has you entirely under his spell.
When I first encountered this book on wattpad nearly a year ago, I thought,this is definitely an author to watch. I’ve since read a second of his titles and am happy to say I was right.