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Karma (Karma Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 345 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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If you look at my past reviews you'll see that I frequently give five stars. To me five stars doesn't mean the book was book was perfect, but that it was well written, engrossing, and there weren't any glaring and continuous writing issues. There was just some things missing from Karma that don't justify a higher rating, which is unfortunate because it had such an interesting premise. The heroine was a little annoying, for starters. She refuses to see any bright side to her situation for a long time despite many people probably wanting to kill to be given the chance she gets and the less than ideal circumstances that we learn surrounded her old life. The male hero, Fate, is too vaguely described, both in terms of his physical appearance (I don't even think the author bothers to tell us his eye color) and his background. The author doesn't do a great job establishing the reasons behind the attraction Karma has to Fate. There's nothing wrong with him, it's just that you don't really see when or why it developed. It's just there. You don't feel it intensely like you do with some books. What kept me reading was the central mystery surrounding Karma's fate and role. That is where the author did a better job. It was pretty intriguing. There was also some interesting takes on concepts like soulmates and fate. So it wasn't all negative. I'll probably finish the series because it did a good enough job at getting me invested in the outcome, but I'm not really dying to read the next book like I could have been if the above issues weren't present.
‘Karma’ is the story of Camilla, a young criminal defense lawyer killed in a train wreck, who finds herself the personification of karma, the Hindu belief that good actions are rewarded by good things happening and vice versa.
She finds herself working out of a boring building shared with others of her new ‘kind’, including the people representing things like Lady Luck, Fate (who is both her nemesis and potential love interest), Jinxes, and the Cat Lady, who is responsible for sending black cats across people’s paths to warm them of bad luck. Oh, and they supposedly work for “the universe”, which communicates by dropping memos from the sky into their office manager’s lap, as they do their jobs “keeping the universe balanced”.
It isn’t made clear whether the characters are supposed to be Karma, Fate, etc. for the whole world, just for North America, or for some smaller region— and this is a major problem with the book. Whatever their official responsibilities, the characters do almost nothing towards fulfilling their roles.
Karma rarely leaves the office on “official business”— she’s given a beach condo to live in that’s kept stocked with not just a fridge full of food but closets full of clothes, and a used car for transport. [She’s not given cash, or even a purse, although she is soon picking up her purse and shopping anyway.] Are we really supposed to believe that “the universe” is so well run that problems that violate the rule “karma” happen so often that a personification of karma is needed, yet so rarely that she is only used two or three times a month? Or that someone’s karma is so different from their fate that two personificationsvare needed, but barely utilized?
But issues like that are less important than another, greater issue: the plot rotates around an apparent conspiracy— that the train wreck that killed Camilla was actually purposeful, and that someone (or thing!) wrecked the train and left dozens killed or injured just to kill Camilla, and that whoever it was has a much wider nefarious plot in mind.
Oh, and Camilla has a deadline for finding the man who killed her (so she can kill him back)— one month. That’s how long she has to do the Karma job before she can get born into a new human (the Hindu concept of reincarnation is apparently part of the author’s paradigm, too). Apparently if she misses her one-month exit interview, she’ll have to stay an additional thousand years, although no reason is given for this arbitrary rule.
So through much of the book Karma and Fate are searching for the bad guy, known just as ‘Suit’. They are not doing any work, either as Karma or Fate— Karma is called to a couple of cases where she plants evidence to ensure a bad guy gets his comeuppance (and that the reader get examples of ‘karma at work), but otherwise she does whatever she wants on company time.
Probably, though, the book’s biggest problem is that even within its own presuppositions it never really makes sense. The Fate character doesn’t seem to act much on people’s fates, although he’s capable of observing them. Camilla is rarely called act as a force for karma. The book isn’t poorly written— Donna Augustine writes both humorously and grammatically— but in the end, the book simply has too few redeeming merits. I can not recommend it, nor will I read its (multiple) sequels.
Most recent customer reviews
I really liked the aspects of karma, fate, death, etc.Read more