This week I'm reviewing K.D. Williams' "Mysteries in the Locket", which the author sent me digitally in exchange for a review. In addition to the review here on the blog, I'll also be talking a bit about the book in my February Wrap-Up which should be up this Friday.
As always, before I get into my thoughts, here's the book's Goodreads description:
21 year old Jinalie has a
few challenges she cannot handle alone. No day is ever a bore between
almost getting killed by and eighteen wheeler truck to trying to be the
perfect queen for her country. The biggest of her problems is realizing
she’s in love with both, Matthew her formal language teacher and Eli an
ex con who tried to kill her and take the throne. Jinalie can keep her
country and life protect, by discovering the secrets of her deceased
mothers locket, but not without betraying at least one of her lovers.
In the process she’ll discover who she truly is and why only she can
rule the country to success.
Okay, I'll be honest, I was a little hesitant going into this book. The description sounded interesting, but at the same time...I was unsure as to the genre and what to expect, but the reviews on Goodreads were good, so I figured I would check it out.
Now...I think this book had potential, a lot of potential, and if you can look past a lot of line edit issues, you'll probably enjoy it! However, I had a lot of issues with the book.
Right off the bat, the relationships between characters were confusing. Jinalie's relationship with her father didn't have a clear dynamic, and neither did her relationship with anyone else- Matthew and Eli included. Part of this, I think, had to do with unnatural dialogue that made everything seem forced. I didn't believe the characters' emotions. The antagonists were written in a way that made them just seem like unstable children, which might have been the point, but irked me a little. A lot of the world and society building was dispersed throughout the story in an awkward sort of way that took away from the plot some and made those details seem like after thoughts. Like they were thrown in to explain away something.
The government is supposedly a monarchy, but there are elements that lead to confusion as to how the country is actually ruled, and characters such as Emily- who very clearly could have been charged with treason- aren't handled at all. Eli's whole storyline was slow to me and confusing. I didn't know what was going on with his character internally until halfway through the story, but then it seemed like his story was tripping over itself to make up for that....and why on earth would he be one of Jinalie's advisers so soon after meeting him?
The reason behind the conflict in the story was drowning in metaphorical meaning that seemed a bit like overkill and really sort of put me off to the villain...but not for the reason I was supposed to be.
Jinalie seemed ignorant as a character. This is really only a huge problem for me because it's written over and over that she has been preparing to be queen for years, yet she doesn't even know where Matthew was being kept- a fact that should be made clear to the ruler of a country.
Other problems I had were mostly technical- there were some grammatical errors that had been looked over, Eli kept being described...or there were specific instances where things either didn't make sense of the plot stumbled.
Over all...I didn't really enjoy this book and had to force myself to keep from skimming. That being said- I tend to notice and be stopped by details if I'm not in love with anything in the story. That's the case here. I liked the storyline, but I definitely wasn't so enthralled by it that I could look past all the little things that others potentially could look past. I don't exactly recommend it, but if you get the chance to read it, or if it's available on sale or for a promotional free download- then there's no harm checking it out.