Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: Shattered, by Sophia Sharp

Say what you will about the Twilight series, but it must always be conceded that the books have been successful in the six years that they've been out. With the rising popularity of self-publishing and the ready availability of resources for such, lots of sad, sad clones of Twilight have appeared on the digital bookshelves of the Kindle store.

Shattered, by Sophia Sharp, popped up as a "YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS" sort of thing in my Amazon account, while I was poking through author pages. It was 99 cents, so I thought "heck, why not" and downloaded it to my Kindle app. (The app was free. Awesome.*)

The book started out okay, but it felt a little first draftish, and the wording tended to be a little juvenile. The male lead (Logan) brooded and mystified the girl (Laura) in an all too familiar way.

And then people begin to disappear.

No, really. Entire sets of characters disappear, including all of Laura's friends. Though the dialogue among them could be stiff and unconvincing most of the time, the characters didn't deserve the horrific fate of being erased from reality altogether. As far as her family, though they are mentioned, you never meet them. Even the dog is a faceless entity that exists, apparently, to underscore the All-American main character.

An unlikely situation involving Laura's soon to be former crush which could totally get the jerk arrested is lifted straight off the pages of Twilight and solved by Logan and mixed martial arts. Very little is described in the book, except for a detailed view of a river-powered mill somewhere in the boonies and Logan's distinctive pale and emo look. The conversations between Laura and Logan aren't badly done, but like the rest of the book, they do need some work.

It's a clone of Twilight, so the SUPRISE I'MA VAMPIRE moment is pretty obvious before it comes, though the "visit the dream world" concept that Sharp includes is interesting and not something I was expecting, though it does make the vampire element seem a little more intrusive and contrived. Logan goes to high school, and Laura first meets him when he transfers to hers. However, he is a 400 year old vampire and travels alone, and there's never given any reason for him to keep up appearances as a high school student. Maybe he fears arrest by a truant officer even though he's totally old enough to drop out and get his GED.

On the bright side, Shattered only cost 99 cents, and the grammar and spelling were clean, something not seen much in a self published novel. It's also refreshingly free of that dreaded pair, Mary Sue and Gary Stu. Sophia Sharp is a 19 year old college student, so writing this novel, however flawed it is, is a commendable effort. I won't be reading the rest of the series, but feel free to check them out yourself in the Amazon Kindle Store.

*Seriously, get it. The app is free for all devices that it's available on. Your iPad could be that much more awesome, my friend.

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