19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A compelling idea isn't enough to make a great book,
This review is from: Tag (The Zumar Chronicles Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Simon Royle had a great idea for a novel that touches on the trend toward loss of personal privacy. Unfortunately, the execution of the idea is not up to the same level as the idea.
First, the writing overall is stilted. For the first half of the book, I actually believed that the author was not a native English speaker. Then I looked him up online and discovered that he was born and raised in Manchester, England. I don't know if the problem was all the terminology he used to make the story seem futuristic or that he is just a beginning writer and hasn't found his voice yet. This didn't stop me from reading, but it did decrease my enjoyment level.
Second, some of the major characters really are just stereotypes that are barely fleshed out. Jonah, the protagonist, is allowed to speak to the reader in first person, but he is the only character that rises to the level of full development. The worst offender, and possibly the most important character to the storyline, is Gabriel. This book would have been so much stronger if we'd had scenes in which Gabriel was given the first person POV to address us. As written, however, his climactic letter to the world comes across as impossibly naive, as does the global portion of the ending.
Third, the author created some really clever jargon for this world that created a real sense of place and time that is outside of our own. It was never difficult to figure out what the jargon meant, but unfortunately, some of the jargon words he created were crazy hard to pronounce, even though they were just 2 syllables long. Kudos for the idea and the consistent execution of it.
Finally, I need to say that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for writing a review.