This is post number 12, part two. Please read part one, otherwise this review doesn’t make much sense.
Opinion: I’m going to start with the positives because I’m feeling generous. There is a ton of action going on, as you probably noticed by my plot summary. None of the characters are unlikeable. The author has potential to make an interesting sequel,and with that I’m done with the pros.
None of the characters are unlikeable because they don’t really have any strong personality traits. Even the main character, Tom, has no real identifying features other than his magic. If there was a bit more character development, I would feel a great deal more invested in the characters and their feelings, instead of being confused or just straight up meh about what happens to them. The vast number of characters only served to muddle the plot; I swear that each chapter introduced two new people who never got the chance to display any personality.
The sheer amount of plot within this book should have divided into at least two different novels if not more. Personally, if the author had divided the book into three books where book one ended at the attack on the school, book two ended at the attack on Karman’s house, and book three went until the end, I would have enjoyed the books more because then the author could have used the extra space to provide more character development. It also would have helped with the pacing; for instance, Tom is supposed to age from 5 to 16, but since the three years at Karman’s house are not discussed at all, I kept thinking he was 13, which made the awkward make out scenes with Aithnea even worse.
I have to say, though, that the absolute worst part about this book was the writing. The author uses a third person limited perspective, but ruins the flow by having Tom’s first person thoughts interrupting a couple times per chapter. Another reason why I thought he was a prepubescent boy for almost the entire novel was because his thoughts were comically simple and had little pertinence to the action that was going on. I actually chose the passage in part one of this review because Tom’s monologue was so choppy that I actually laughed while reading it. There are also numerous grammar mistakes like a lack of clarifying commas and using the wrong form of ‘to’.
Some of the small things that bothered me included the name choices. In the beginning all of the names were traditional western names like Tom and John, but in the middle random names like Karman and freakin’ Aithnea were thrown in, which was really off putting. I actually included the coverart in this review because I think it is unbelievably awful. Everything is a shade of brown including the main character’s blonde hair and blue eyes, and their faces look just straight up odd. I know that I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but in this case the front is the same level of bad as the contents.
Honestly, I do still think the author can salvage the series with a sequel that takes its time and uses third person limited correctly. The characters are set up with interesting abilities, the setting has potential, and the overall plot can be expanded to make a fun experience.
Ratings: This is a fantasy/sci-fi novel so the ratings are:
Explanation of Powers: 6/10
Overall I give Forsaken Petal a 2/10. The plot has too much going on in terms of action and characters, and the poor choice of using Tom’s internal monologue ruin the potential for a decent story.