Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review #1040
Kestrel's Midnight Song by J. R. Parker
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I received this book as an advance readers copy. I thought the cover artwork was well done and I loved the magnificent bird. The huge bird were thought-out and displayed quite nicely as the cover art, it didn't have any cheesy elements or design flaws (that I could tell). The story's beginning was intriguing and left you wanting to know what happened next. I also thought the minor characters were well-rounded and had distinct personalities.

I wanted the main characters to be more fleshed-out, I never felt like I truly got to know them as well as I should have. I saw what they were doing through the course of the story, but I'm not sure if I knew exactly why they felt called to do the things they did. I wanted a better picture of what was going on inside their heads. Some of the story details were a little lacking - I didn't know why certain things happened or I was confused with how some of the characters had decided upon an action.

There were a couple parts in the story where I didn't follow the events because the timeline was unclear.  I also felt like there were some gaps in the plot where things were left unexplained or things were resolved too quickly. While I was interested in how the story was going, I didn't feel like some of the trials that happened were as difficult as I would have liked. I felt like the characters accomplished their tasks too easily. Some of the dialogue was a stiff or cumbersome. I didn't like Bart because I couldn't understand him, he didn't seem to serve much of a purpose (besides one factor). I felt like his character wasn't deep enough - sometimes I thought he was incredibly dull and I couldn't see why Micah would bother having him around at all. I felt like there was a lot of things left unsaid about his personality and I didn't see how well he fit into the story.

I didn't see the twist at the end and I thought the author did a good job of masking how that played out. I was surprised, but it was a good surprise. This book was written while the author was a teenager and while it did have an interesting and original concept, I thought some of the follow-through needed work. The main characters needed to be more developed and some of the plot structures needed tweaking to ensure a smooth and enjoyable read. I thought it was an interesting read and had good aspects, I just think it needs to be more polished before I could recommend it.

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