If I may be so bold, I’d like to begin at the end and say there’s definitely a “disturbance in the creative force.”—thanks Amanda Or at least that was my first thought after completing this novel.
If I didn’t want to embrace books with a warm hug and proceed to shove them out into the world by talking about them, promoting them, and engaging in lively discussions with informed readers across the space and time continuum for the rest of my life without fail, I could very easily just write ALEX off and move on with my life, rubbing my palms together, and then ducking under an overpass while the train rocks the tracks above my head. But that wouldn’t be okay, and it certainly isn’t a productive use of my time. Maybe I’m half-sensitive, half-crazy, prone to second-guessing, and have enough of an ego that I feel like I need to somehow be a productive member of society and make some sort of contribution before I dissipate off this Earth faster than a fart in the New Mexican wind, so here we are, wonderful reader and I, dancing the tango over yet another book review. Where I hope to impart a few thoughts, informed opinions, and constructive criticisms, and you can pretend that you actually give a flying fart.
Here are a few of the issues:
Constant telling to the point that I wanted to rip my hair out? Check.
Inside Alex’s head way too much, to the point that I could set up camp, read a newspaper, and smoke a cigarette while balancing a tumbler on my left knee? Check.
Shaggy dialogue? Check.
Exclamation point minefields? Check.
Not getting to the point? Check.
Am I making myself clear? No.
Piss-poor similes and metaphors? Check.
Overstated, redundant, bloated prose? Check.
Stilted, stiff, wooden, overformal, mannered, and pretentious dialogue? Check.
Overemphasis on ellipses? Check.
Repetitious to the point that I thought I had developed CRS disease? Check.
Drama and heightened tension sucked out of the prose faster than a Hoover by mediocre writing? Check.
Excessive stammering to the point that I wanted to offer speech lessons? Check.
Mystery? Possibly but it was a side car on this happy train.
A supposed thriller minus most of the thrills? Check.
Plenty of clichés? Check.
Immediate and unexplained epiphanies? Check.
Brings words like pussyfooting to the foray? Check.
Penchant for passive voice? Check.
Almost seemed to switch POV in the middle of a few scenes? Check.
Editing comments that were both annoying and frustrating and over explained the difference between French and English? Check. (This should be fixed upon the official release, otherwise readers are in for a real treat.)
For the first two-thirds or so of this tale, Alex Prevost just might have been my least favorite character of all time. I’m not sure I could have looked at her, or even been in the same room with her, and being in her head for so long proved rather torturous, corrupting me on more than one level. *BEGIN SPOILER* But once I did understand the motivations for her actions, she did grow on me however slightly, even though it was probably a bit too late in the game for me to come full circle in my way of thinking. And the ending itself proved a bit farfetched even for this roller-coaster-induced tale. *END SPOILER*
If I didn’t already have some sort of complex where I tend to question myself, ponder the meaning of life, and seek out both the good in people and books, I might be perfectly fine with writing two one-star reviews in a row. But I can’t help but feel as though I have somehow failed the universe.
Upon finishing ALEX, I don’t really feel anger or frustration or fury or annoyance, I feel a lingering, profound sadness that hangs over me like the sun, a sense of defeat and loss and despair that clings to me like a wet t-shirt, and then I don’t really feel much of anything at all.
I received this book for free through NetGalley.