The Fragile Things

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The Fragile Things (Part I)

Last Free on: 6th Dec 16
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...When I have to fight the formatting to actually follow the text, quality of writing and target audience become secondary concerns....

The story of a heroin addict who meets a vampire who has moved in across the road, while trying to avoid her drug dealing boyfriends nightmare associate Morris and pull the parts of her life together.

This book had good reviews, and I had high hopes for it, particularly since the author’s other collection Lady of Chains was well-received. Unfortunately disappointment is painful. I will explain why in a minute.

First impressions are not promising – a blank page with “One” written on it. This is a trend through the book, with each Part and Chapter Heading on its own page. Rather unusually the Table of Contents at the front is not clickable on my Kindle, but the Kindle ToC works perfectly so this is not a show stopper. While it is a stylistic, the huge bolded words in the middle of text do not help clarity: it is probably supposed to feel disjointed and otherworldly but it jerked me right out of the story.

This is a pet peeve, so I may be being unfair, but after the original Malkavian sourcebook for Vampire, every time I see this it makes me suspect the author does not trust their prose to convey the right impression without the text tricks.

This book says it is the first in a four part serial, which is correct. The main characters don’t meet until chapter five out of nine. It is the first part of a single story split into four parts, which means it ends in media res. Out of the plot described at the top, its gets as far as the drug addict meeting the vampire. Morris remains unseen, and she has not even started putting her life together. Sadly I don’t care enough about any of these characters to read the next book.

This is a curious cross between MisLit and horror, with a gratuitous sexual assault scene that would have made me throw a paperback at the wall. There is a lot of swearing, and while it is supposed to grasp the despondency of life on a sink estate it fails to grasp its vibrancy or desperation. While the book promises this will show up in part II, I’m not sticking around for that long.

The sad truth is that this vampire horror left me bored.

Now I will make myself really unpopular – I’m giving this two stars. When I have to fight the formatting to actually follow the text, quality of writing and target audience become secondary concerns.

Rating: 2
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