Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Book Review: Night Child by Jes Battis

Enter the night world of the OSI... OCCULT SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR
Tess Corday, Occult Special Investigator for Vancouver's Mystical Crime Lab, is used to seeing dead vampires. But there's nothing ordinary about this case. Not the lab results on the cause of death. Not the teenage girl living at the address found in the vamp's pocket, who may well be in thrall to a demon. And certainly not Lucian Agrado, the necromancer who is liaison to the vampire community. Agrado is supposed to be part of the solution, but Tess suspects he might be part of the problem.

Soon she finds herself in the middle of a paranormal conspiracy that will change her life forever... and possibly end it.

My Review:
This was a book that I really loved the sound of and really wanted to like but there were just too many issues with it for me to enjoy it. For me it started off in a confused manner, unable to decide whether it was an urban fantasy novel with a CSI twist or a crime novel with a hint of paranormal. I bought it as urban fantasy but felt it ended up as a crime novel which I do not enjoy.

Next we have to talk about the techical jargon. Yes I get that the author is very clever and intelligent, and knows all these forensic and scientific words, but that does not mean that you must use every one of them in a single novel! Where the author is trying to show that they know their stuff, it just comes across as 'hey I'm smarter than you so I'll show that off to make you feel small and dumb'. Don't get me wrong, I doubt that was the author intention but it felt like that to me every time I had to stop and sigh over another incomprehensible sentence. There are only so many times I will reach for a dictionary before I get bored with it. When I read I want to be entertained, not spend all my time looking up words. There was a complete overdose of jargon in this book and it really put me off. I know a few people who are not into science who had the same reaction. It's impossible to get into a story if it keeps getting hijacked by confusing jargon.

Another down side of all the techical stuff is that it led to my old nemesis, the info dump. The whole first part of the book is totally bogged down in world building info dumps and descriptions. It just got too much when mixed with all the science stuff I had already struggled to digest. The developing plot was lost in this frenzy of information and there was no build up of tension or real excitement. If you stripped the sciene and info dumps away, perhaps a good story would have been uncovered but it was just impossible to tell!

Even the characters were ruined by these two flaws. Every character seemed to be spouting jargon at every opportunity like an uber intelligent Blue Peter presenter, describing everything they were doing in minute detail for children to copy at home. Only this was a lot more complex than scissors and stickyback plastic!

And can someone please come up with a new original name for their supernatural character instead of Lucian??? I've lost count of how many urban fantasy novels have Lucian or something very similar. It is annoying and frustrating you can't get authors being creative enough to use different names! There are plenty million to choose from after all.

Overall, pretty disappointed and won't be reading the rest of the series. 
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

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