Thursday, 8 December 2011

Swirls by F.A. Hershey

Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi/Fiction

Swirls (Outsiders #1)I would like to start by thanking F.A. Hershey for the chance to review this book in exchange for an honest review. I would also like to say that though this book had some interesting ideas though I didn't take to it as much as I would like, which I will go into in more depth once I've given a synopsis:

'Sixteen-year-old Julia finds herself leaving her London life behind to move with her parents to the Amazon jungle. 
A native descendant, she becomes familiarized with her own roots for the first time in her life. However, she never imagines she is about to discover much more than her own past but also just how crowded our little planet is' 

I had a few issues with this book and I hate to write anything  negative, but I won't write a false review and compromise my integrity as an reviewer, otherwise I may as well not be reviewing.
The first issue I had was the writing. Now, I make mistakes with my grammar and spelling as much as the next person but then again, I don't have an editor so I think myself and my other fellow reviewers can be excused to some degree.  
However, there are a lot in this book, and I mean a lot. Nearly all the books I've read have had one or two in that make me chuckle a little bit, but some of the errors in this confused me some what. 
Even so, I could probably ignore spelling mistakes, if it were not the sentence structure that annoyed me a bit too, and the way things tended to jump around a lot.   I think with a good editing these sorts of errors could easily have been avoided, so it's a shame that I've had to drop my rating partially based on that fact.

The other problem I had was the lack of detail and explanation. From what I gathered from the story I understood most of it but some elements seemed to far out there with no explanation that it just didn't make sense. For example,certain characters were supposedly aliens (so to speak) but why would they chose to come to earth and why would there be people chosen to have powers like them? I just couldn't wrap my head around it completely.

The characters, for the most part were OK. I liked Julia though I found her a little contradictive. One moment she's helpless, the next she suddenly understands everything and doesn't question a thing. This is a  thing that annoys me with characters; when they have a life changing event and they just cope, with very little urging or adjustment (I can't write much more about that without posting spoilers)
The other characters, such as Lola, I loved to pieces. I thought she was genuine, pretty funny and such a good friend for the main character.
Gabriel was an awesome love interest and hey, he sounded very nice too, and played a part that was a lot bigger than rescuing the damsel in distress, which made a nice change.

The actual idea of the story was really good. The powers that Julia developed were different, fascinating and it would have been interesting to see how they developed further, and to see how well she learned to use them.  There were a few holes in the plot and I think the ending could have been a bit more descriptive as the events were stretched across two places and I didn't get to see what happened in the other place, which by the sounds of it, all the exciting things seemed to happen.
If I'm honest, and I always like to be, this has the potential to be a good YA book. It has the characters, a decent plot and a pretty good cliff-hanger/unexpected ending. The only thing stopping it from being so is a lot more revision, some rewriting of events and a few tweaks to the characters and background info. 
I'm not saying I'll run out and get the next book in the series, but I will give it a go in order to find out how the story progresses.

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