Friday, 7 September 2012

Review for "Wampus Springs" by Wade Faubert

Story Overview:

Lori is savaged by a wolf when she is twelve years old. Her three friends are dead and she has a scar that will remain with her forever. To get away from it all, her family move and for four years she attempts to forget about the horrible day, she almost died. Then just as everything seems to be getting to a sort of normality, a student disappears in her new town and through her nightmares she suspects the wolf is coming to finish the job.

Cover Page:  14/20

Again I am being drawn to the comment of “can’t judge a book by its cover” and that is more true here than ever before. When I look at the cover I think – ‘vampire’. However this book is about werewolves primarily and although the girl on the picture looks the part of a mysterious person; she doesn’t portray the characters particularly well nor does she really tell me much about the story. However on the plus side at least the cover looks professionally done and like it should belong on a book shelf in this genre. This would at least draw an uncommitted browser in.

Character (and their development):  10/20

The characters within the story all seem alike in their dialogue; although many of them are years apart in age. Sometimes with little else to offer us in terms of actions and thoughts gives us little insight into them. I did personally like Lori and Josh, but found Kirk and Jessica a little too ‘teen tearaway’ for my liking. But like most of the characters all the latter two are; are obnoxious late teenagers; something every parent dreads. The development for the main character is appropriate, but it is nothing special.

Storyline:  17/20

The storyline has a great deal of potential and is probably the best part of this book. The idea of something coming back to haunt a protagonist is nothing new, neither is the idea of a new kid on the block having a shady past, but the two brought together here have a huge potential. Even some of the minor characters have an excellent opportunity to shine, with a suspicious police officer from the previous town and the behaviour of the teachers.

Even the ending has something that a couple of years ago I would not have expected. However there is the problem with the storyline. As I read it I thought more and more about a famous series of books based on vampires, and the similarities between that series and this book. Don’t get me wrong, this book has more of a uniqueness to make sure that it isn’t a like for like copy with just a few name changes. But to me it seems obvious where the inspiration has come from.

Style: 8/20
Action scenes, description and even character thoughts are all portrayed well. They have a great pace around them and a touch of the best writers – when they occur. The dialogue is what the author mostly concentrates on to drive the chapters on, with little insight to what the characters are doing or thinking though heavy dialogue exchanges. It is a shame because this is what really lets this story down, however saying that; young teens may find this style more appealing than some books that go the other way.

The only down point about the action scenes is that sometimes objects that are interacted with are written in as if the reader knew they were there all the time. I don’t mind an object popping up, but the writing was such that it seemed as if I missed its introduction earlier on in the writing.

The style of the writing also didn’t allow the reader to read the action at the pace it was going, instead going at a constant speed throughout the book. This doesn’t allow the heart beat of the reader to race as the characters’ does or the catching of breath when needing. It also doesn’t encourage the reader to continue reading until the next chapter as almost any place is a good place to stop.

Spelling and Grammar:  10/20

The book is not full of mistakes as some people on the reviews would lead you to believe. There are in fact very few spelling and grammar mistakes, maybe a little more than I would expect from an author, but certainly far less than you are led on to believe.  What I found with the writing was there’s a lot of unnecessary words and sentences which slowed down the reading and made it more uncomfortable to read.

Conclusion:  59/100

This is a book with plenty of promise and potential, but the execution lets it down slightly. There are moments of brilliant writing, but unfortunately it is not consistent. If I was a young teen, or a person who really loved the ‘Twilight’ series, then this is the book that I would buy. But for the casual reader it might be one that would be a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bad book, and there are plenty of books out there that are worse than this one, but one should not buy this if they like being told what is going on and not hearing it from the characters.

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