Thursday, 7 May 2015

Hidden Gem Awards: 5th Place

Ladies and gentlemen, readers and writers, it's about time I announced the results of the Hidden Gem Awards. Eleven supernatural themed books entered, all self-published. Five were selected from reading the opening alone, and now they are all read and reviewed.

I'll be posting one a day until we reach the winner to give each fantastic entry it's own time in the light. Here's the first runner up:

A Time Apart
Rebecca Norrinne Caudill

Olivia moves to Ireland, feeling a down on her luck and looking to kick start her life back up, starting with a tour of William Macauley's castle. When William rejects her offer, he wasn't expecting such a feisty reply, but Olivia was even more surprised when she remembers just exactly who William is.

I knew a little of what was to come when I checked it was supernatural, but the twist was still a good one. The writing was quite clever, weaving in a few ideas that only really came together at that click moment. There were quite a few original spins on what has become a tired genre, and I'd definitely keep an eye out for future releases by authoress Caudill.

The pacing was just a bit too slow. I could see many ways to improve this, both structurally and by using writing tricks to strengthen the prose. The main problem was too much telling and exposition, not enough showing and action. 

I loved the voice a lot, but it took precedence over the pace most of the time. Still, Olivia is both feisty and insecure, which made her easy to relate to as well as fun to root for.