Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Breaking Deluce (Chad Campbell)

Breaking Deluce
Chad Campbell
Conceptualize Publishing
Fiction, YA Fantasy
** (Bad)

DESCRIPTION: High-schooler Mona Deluce wanted nothing more out of life than a perfect SAT score to get her into a good college. Then, two new boys show up at school, handsome Damon and brutish giant Jason... and some very strange things start to happen. Suddenly, she's being hunted by creatures that shouldn't exist and defended by strangers with powers she can't understand. Her dreams of a normal life are about to go up in smoke - assuming she survives.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: I wanted to like this one. The description on Amazon made it sound intriguing. Unfortunately, it failed to mention that this was not a complete short story, but simply an introduction to a longer work. As such, it wastes page count laboriously setting up Mona's normal life... curiously, without making her into a character I could sympathize with. She comes across as a cardboard cutout, an object that everyone wants to either kill or defend, for reasons that are never explained (at least, not here - the Amazon description remains the only clue on that front.) The villain is a talky, nigh-invulnerable stereotype, prone to standing around and boasting about how he's going to destroy the good guys rather than simply carrying out his threats. The heroes - the boys, at least, as Mona hardly qualifies as a heroine save for one inexplicable moment towards the end - take repeated deadly beatings without actually dying, further reducing the tension and my interest. I hit the end with a sense of relief that the tale was finally over, and without a shred of concern over what comes next for Mona.

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