Title: Tara Hill: Journey to Arcadia
Author: J. M. Willis
Format reviewed: E-Book
Length: 312 pages
Inside flap/book description:
Tara and Eric Hill are twins, who have just lost their adoptive parents. Their only clue to finding out what happened to their parents, is an old bell and the visions Tara keeps getting. They end up being chased out of the country and finally find the owner of the bell. Things keep getting strange, especially when the owner says he is a fairy. Now they have to travel to Arcadia the land of the Fae, to find their real parents. Because their real father, who can control water, wants to take over the world; humans and fairies. And he might just do it, he is already responsible for sinking Atlantis and causing havoc. Will they save the world from impending doom?
Unfortunately, when I began reviewing indie books, I knew there were going to be the ones that, although I loved the subject or the story, would be held back by writing style and a lack of editing or some other reason.
I can tell there is passion in the writing of this book. My first impression was that the author possibly began writing this many years ago and has been a lifetime passion for them. I can tell there is a great story in this book, a great cast of characters, and possibly (from what I read) some really interesting moral questions and character development. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish it.
Part of our mission at Lost Explorers Club/Lost Explorer Reviews is to give a good, honest picture of a book so that other readers can have a reasonable expectation of what will lay between the pages of any book we review. Knowing that indie authors have limited resources and funds to pay for editing and reviewing, we overlook errors and grammar — usually, they do not detract from the story, so I don’t care about them, aside from the occasional eye-roll.
But in this case, a number of issues prevented me from reading the entire book. I won’t go into detail about every single one, but it would be disingenuous to ignore them here.
First, the chapter breaks happen in the middle of some scenes, and the next chapter picks up right where the last left off. The first three chapters could have been combined into one because if I had stopped at the chapter breaks, I would have been confused where the next one started since there is no time passing between the two.
Second, there were a high number of grammatical and spelling errors that pulled me out of the story.
Third, the writing style is one that did not bring me in. This is the most important point, in my opinion. I can look over errors and weird chapter breaks, but if the writing doesn’t pull me in, then it really does become a struggle to finish. As I mentioned earlier, I had the impression that this book was a lifelong passion project, so I would not be surprised if this book was started during grade school and only published once the author was old enough to navigate the self-publishing world. It is understandable that they would want to leave their hard work unchanged after working for so long, but the end result is an unrefined story that is difficult to get through.
In the end, I could only complete the first five chapters before I stopped. Again, I could tell there might be an engaging story underneath the writing, but I could uncover it enough to enjoy it.
Therefore, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this book, or compare it to other books that readers may like, so I will not.
Find the book for sale: HERE