I had brought home a book from the library called The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze. It sounded cool; Princess Eliza was forced to join the enemy in order to not only protect herself, but get closer to the person who killed her family, so she could kill him. (There's more to it, but that's the premise.) Who doesn't love an adventure where the hero has to join the enemy? I was really excited to read this book. It fell short of my expectation, but it made for a great learning experience and will help me with my own writing...and maybe yours!
Here are the pros and cons of this book:
1. Fast-paced beginning - it had a great hook and didn't drag on
2. Action - lots and lots of action
3. Intense(?) - I added a question mark because after a while the bad stuff wasn't as intense... (read on and I'll explain)
4. Interesting plot
5. Main Character - Eliza was pretty good; she developed more than the others and had an arc
6. No love triangle - Yay! (although if authors do it right, it can be fine)
1. Too fast - Uh...yeah. I don't read too many books that are too fast. This book started out great and I was hooked, but later on I was confused. Why are there cannibals? What caused the destruction of England? I feel like the author skipped over details that I wanted and needed to know in order to connect with the story more. Definitely something I want to keep in mind as I write my own novels.
2. Intense/Too many bad things - How can a book be too intense? When the author adds waaaayy too many sad/bad/intense scenes, everything starts to get not-so-sad. Throughout the book, I started to expect it to happen and when it did, I thought, "Ah, yes, called it," instead of, "What?!?!? I DID NOT expect that!"
Basically, (What I have learned from writing) there should be three MAJOR bad happenings, each worse than the other. In between those, there can be other smaller bad things that happen too, but you gotta leave room for the three. If everything bad that happens isn't worse than the last (and if there's ONLY bad things going on), then the story kind of plateaus. (This is for the three act structure. There are other structures that use more acts, but the usual is the three act. Should I go into this more in a later post?)
3. Not enough "happy" scenes - This goes with the above. This story was filled to the brim with bad happenings that there wasn't any "breathing room." Again, the story plateaus if there isn't any different moods throughout the story.
4. Undeveloped characters - The side characters were quite undeveloped compared to Eliza. Her sister and brother were okay, but mostly it was the enemy that I wanted to know more about. He wasn't a strong villain, but he was still easy to hate at least. I also wanted to know more about her love interest (dude, I forgot his name...whoops). I didn't feel quite connected with him, if you know what I mean...and, like I said, I forgot his name if that says anything!
5. Love Interest - Speaking of the love interest, I thought it was a bit fast when Eliza and him hooked up...The first time Eliza saw him was when he didn't reveal her hiding spot to the enemy (even though he was with them), then she noticed him when she joined the enemy. Then she was hunting in the woods for food and he followed her (stalker amiright?) and then *boom* romance blossoms. But, hey, no love triangle! >_<
The story had lots of potential though, and the author writes well, don't get me wrong. I think if she added different scenes and developed the characters more, it would've been great. Plus the book would've been thicker which is another plus! :D
One Last Thing
The author did great with the opening!
I learned that the trigger event that sets everything in motion doesn't have to be in the first chapter (though it shouldn't be that much farther). There is a difference between the hook and the trigger event.
Hook - Something that draws the reader in.
Trigger Event - Something that happens to the protagonist that starts the actual story
The hook in this book was when her mother died from poison. It hooked me. I was asking questions like, "why was she poisoned?" and "what's going to happen next?" But that wasn't the trigger event. The book wasn't centered around the mother dying.
The trigger event was when Eliza read a letter given to her by her closest friend saying she and her family were in danger and there was a scheme to overthrow them by a rebel group.
That's what this plot was centered around. The trigger event didn't throw her into the middle of chaos, but that's not what its job is for.
That is what I took away from reading "The Last Princess" by Galaxy Craze. Everything you read can be a learning opportunity.
What was your favorite take away from this? I'd love to read your comments!