Friday, December 5, 2014

Shannon Houff's: Spring Blessings (3/5 stars)

Shannon Houff's "Spring Blessings" is an urban fantasy tale full of action and promise.

Unfortunately, it falls short in it's current state. 

Overall, the work reads as if it is still in beta stages. It has many interesting aspects, characters that are like-able and a unique expression of fantasy: allusions of pop culture, theatre, literature and classic fantasy denizens. However, there is no substantial story. The episodic nature is so nebulous, it is hard to latch onto what is important. When I say "important", I'm referring to what each character wants and needs and what the overarching scenario is that drives them to self-actualization. This is a short work of prose, which means all of this needs to be established quickly. It just didn't happen quickly enough for me.

I also felt like the novel is straddling audiences. At first I felt like it would make a great young adult novel, but with the violence, romance and language it is better suited for adults. I think the next revision should bring this novel off the fence. The romance scenes could have been more erotic without being porny, and the action could have been a bit more visceral. 

I tried my best to read between all of the faults and just enjoy the story, and did, but I can't give this work more than three stars in it's current state. 

I truly think a meticulous, non-biased edit will do wonders for this novel. There's something amazing here, but readers shouldn't have to try so hard to find it. I recommend this novel for lovers of fantasy and paranormal novels with light hearted, humorous narration.

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