Monday, February 10, 2014

{Blog Tour+Giveaway} Reaper's Rhythm: Clare Davidson

Rating: 6/10. 3 ink jars.
Series: Hidden #1
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: July 26, 2013
Publisher: Create Space
Page Count: 250
Format: Digital Kindle Book

Goodreads Synopsis:
When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered. Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger. The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late.

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter and a cranky grey cat, called Ash. Clare juggles family life with writing, teaching and a variety of fibre craft hobbies.

The number one thing I learned when reading Reaper's Rhythm was how to spell 'rhythm', just kidding, well...yes, actually I didn't know how to spell it, no...because that wasn't the only thing. Anyway, the story, Reaper's Rhythm didn't turn out how I thought it would. A lot of plot elements were different from the impression I gained from the synopsis, as well as some characters that did not fulfill or carry out a role that I expected them to play. Whether this is a good or bad thing is personal preference. As a whole, there were parts of the book that were really gripping, and others that were pretty bland. I feel that the story didn't exactly flow, and was a little disjointed when it came to action. In school, we always learn about the classic plot diagram of exposition, rising action, climax, and falling action, and in full-length novels, this process repeats itself until finally the book comes to a resolution of some sort. If you didn't know, these diagrams look like those machines that monitor your heart rate. The thing is with those machines, things are never equal. There is no perfect balance between low and high. A book with perfect balance would definitely be boring, but I believe that the plot of Reaper's Rhythm could have been a bit more consistent (notice how I didn't say perfectly balance) in the way different events acted as rising action to build up to he climax, and the plot peaked, then dipped down again for falling action. 
The first fourth of Reader's Rhythm kept my attention more than my teachers when they sat there's no homework and I try to figure out what the catch is. Within the first five percent of the book, Kim's sister, Farley has committed an apparent suicide. Kim is completely flabbergasted that her happy, intelligent, popular, older sister would take her own life. The rest of the book is basically an urban fantasy mystery about Kim's quest to find out who killed Charley, and what their motive would be. While I enjoyed the book, and though it was a fun read,  I would consider Reaper's Rhythm to be a murder mystery entwined with the discovery of magic. 

I remember sitting in bed reading the book, and the moment Kim found out Charley was killed was the moment that the 'feels' were turned on like a light switch. I was practically yelling (although I ended up not yelling because my mom would have heard me and I was supposed to be asleep) "What the hell (sorry for my language) just happened?" Needless to say, I was only a bit flabbergasted at what just happened, especially when the end of the first chapter ended with Matthew putting his hand to her forehead, saying "Forget", and then she wakes up in the hospital two days later to find out that Charley committed suicide, and that she has amnesia. It's then a constant battle against herself to try and find out what really happened the night she died, and who was responsible.

From there, we meet some classic roadblocks, for example her going back to school and completely breaking down because of what someone said to her. Then there's speculation that Charley took her life because of how unhappy she was after her parents separation (seriously, whose book parents are actually alive and together). Then Kim searching high and low to try and find an answer. After a while, although the story kept my interest the entire time, I begun to be a little bored. Most of the conflicts, whether internal or external, seemed like standard plot formula, and the buildup to certain events seemed a little strained, or like it was being pushed too hard. 

Another small issue I had with Reaper's Rhythm was that it was written in Britain English, in stead of American which proved to be very confusing for myself as I from Los Angeles. The spelling was different, references were different, and even common discourse was different, as to be expected. There weren't any grammatical errors with the book. I just needed some extra moments to get adjusted and adapted to a different kind of English than I was used to.

One of the qualities you would expect in a book like Reaper's Rhythm, is romance. There was a grand total of two-ish kisses in this book. One was completely for an ulterior motive, and used as a seduction technique to rope Kim in. The other was more like a half kiss and another half kiss which made a whole...if that makes any sense. I was just disappointment without some degree of romance. There was innuendo, and other various references, but nothing entirely direct, and because the YA genre is so popular now, people have come to expect a wonderful plot, with romance on the side. Some examples of that are The Hunger Games, Divergent, Legend, and so many others where romance is plainly there, but isn't the sole focus of the book.

What really got me was the ending of the book. First of all, the people I shipped didn't get together, so that was sad for me. Second of all, it seemed too much like how I predicted it would end, at the slight lull of action before some major event occurs. The ending was pretty predictable, although I would still consider reading the second book in the Hidden Series. 

Overall, if you're looking for something light, except for two slightly graphic deaths, fun, suspenseful, and just a book to get lost into, this is the one to read.
Aren't you just loving my ink jars as my new rating system?
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