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If There Be Giants: A Novel (The Watchers Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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I purchased this book two nights ago. Night 1- stayed up late to read (which I haven't done in a long time!) Day 2-I rushed home from work to continue reading. I just finished and I'm already ready to reread it just to be sure I didn't miss any tidbits. The author wrote the storyline beautifully. It had just enough detail to paint a picture without being so wordy that you find yourself skipping over parts. My mind is reeling with questions. What will happen to Mallory? How will the find affect humanity? What's the deal with Keaton? Grey?! I have so many questions that I want answered, I'm really looking forward to future books in the series.
The voice was inauthentic. If it was intended to be pedantic, in the way of some old English novels, then it must be correct, as well as consistent.
Do not confuse "me" and "I", make sure your verb forms all agree, and certainly check that the verb matches the subject. Other than that, the premise was good, as were characterizations.
I could have been good, and I wanted it to be so badly. The concept the story is based on is brilliant, and I kept reading to the end because I was genuinely invested in the archaeology storyline. But in the end the writing is just bad, the story skips over important parts of the narrative, the characters and their relationships are boring and cringey, and all of those things taken together do quite a good job to overpower the story until all of the enjoyment is taken out of it.
Let’s talk about the writing, first. The books uses language that is so overly formal that it veers into purple prose at time, and at other times, it's laughingly bad. Like, a thirteen year-old's first fanfic bad. (Which is good, when you are writing for free on the internet. Not so much when you're published and an editor has supposedly seen the manuscript.)
When the author doesn’t stray into this sort of flowery writing, the dialogue just feels stiff. Remember how everyone is always complaining that the lines in the Star Wars scripts are ridiculous? It’s because nobody likes literary dialogues. It doesn’t make you feel like you’re plunging into a story about real people: it makes you feel like you’re reading a book, which is the opposite of what you want. The immersion factor is poor here.
Furthermore, the story doesn’t even manage to deliver on what it promises. The story is all about how a team of archaeologists find a giant skeleton in england, under an ancient stonehedge. A lot of time is spent by the main characters worrying about the reaction that the general public will have to this discovery, with extra security set up around the digging site, and conflicts between the characters and their students helpers about confidentiality and the like…. and then between one chapter and the next, almost a year has passed, TWO ENTIRE NEW SKETELONS have been discovered, and the world already knows. So much setup, and we did not even get to see the reaction when the news broke to the general public. This is not the only place where the book does a jarring time skip as an excuse not to show us important events, preferring to tell us how they went down rather than show us, but this is the worst example of it, with a confusing death scene being close second.
The main character of the book, Dr Mallory Jacks, is incredibly boring. While it is interesting to see the ‘I don’t care about small talk, I’m here to work’ character archetype applied to a woman instead of a man, it still doesn’t make it an appealing archetype, and especially not one that is much fun as the POV character. When your viewpoint character thinks that everyone else is boring and dumb, then what tends to happen is that all of the other characters in your book will come across as boring and dumb. And the characters that Mallory do like also manage to come across as having no personality, especially Grey.
The romance between Mallory and Grey has got to be the more tedious romance that I have ever had to read. When they are together, they tend to have very stilted, expository dialogue through excruciatingly boring dates, and then the narration tells us how much in love they are. Honestly, the « romance » parts of the book were the most painful to read, and even worse when the whole thing went into surprising and unexpected « twilight » territory. Can two fictional characters suffer from lack of chemistry? Because I certainly didn’t buy into their relationship.
Honestly, this is one more instance of me being fooled by a great cover (and a persistent marketing team) into thinking that a book would be good. I was genuinely interested in the « giant skeletons have been found, might be nephilims » storyline, but it was executed very clumsily with a cast of unlovable, stiff characters with no inner life or chemistry with eachother, forcing me to go through every tedious minute of their boring relationships. And then after all the the story suddenly verged from a very solid archaeological mystery to some sort of nonsense mysticism christian storyline, and I am *out*. I might skim the summary of the other books in the serie to see how it concludes, but overall I am very disappointed by If There Be Giants.
(THE WATCHERS #1)
Mallory Jacks had been a staunch fan of Indiana Jones since childhood, and unlike many childhood enthusiasms, her interest in both archaeology and anthropology cemented itself and became her adult career passion as well. In company with her schoolmates Paisley, the two found a museum in their small Cornwall community. The turning point occurs with the uncovering of a henge stone. As the novel unfolds, Mallory discovers the existence of The Watchers. Such a discovery may well upend forever both established science, and accepted religions.
IF THERE BE GIANTS is a highly narrative archaeological suspense-thriller. It is first in THE WATCHERS Series.
I reviewed a digital copy generously provided by the author through the Goodreads group Shut Up and Read.
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