21 October 2013

Review: The Disillusioned by DJ Williams

I wanted to like it, but …

Danny Armstrong resisted his ‘destiny’ as the pastor of the California megachurch planted by his famous father. His brother Sam also walked away from the church, and is building a rising career as a producer of up-and-coming musical talent. When their mother commits suicide, Danny and Sam find a portion of the estate has been left to a woman in Zambia, a complete stranger.

And if they don’t find her, the whole estate will go to the church. They need to find her and claim their inheritance, or the ambitious new pastor will make public information that will damage their father’s reputation. But Zambia holds its own perils …

Disillusioned was well-plotted, but the plotting was at the expense of characterisation. It seemed that characters were introduced to and discarded from the book as required by the plot, rather than showing the progression of one or two characters through a series of events to achieve a final victory.

The main characters in The Disillusioned were strong, but their portrayal was uneven, with the story switching focus from Danny to Sam as the story progressed. New characters kept being introduced, and some minor characters were ignored, making me feel there were too many characters. I got mixed up with who was who several times (although this may be related to the point of view—it was not always clear who the viewpoint character was, and there were many examples of confusing head-hopping).

And there were a range of other editing issues, including punctuation errors, typos, excessive adverbs, strange dialogue attributions and (most curiously) the constant use of “he thought to himself” to indicate interior monologue. Well, who else would he be thinking to? This is a Christian thriller, not some mind-reading paranormal romance. The Disillusioned had the potential to be a great story. But first Williams needs to learn the basics of point of view, and to hire a competent editor. Then, maybe, the story will be able to shine.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Derek Williams at his website.

No comments:

Post a Comment