Sometimes you finish a book but you just don’t know what to think. That confusion is how I feel right now. Because on one hand, Quiet in the Realm has a strong story, but on the other, it is so marred by its deficiencies that the story is hidden and hard to see.
To start, as warned by the author, there were quite a few grammatical errors, but I think Sutton is in the process of editing his work. Hopefully he can update this as soon as possible so as to save his future readers this grief and frustration.
Secondly, and this may be a preference matter, but I think Sutton’s work, on the whole, uses too many complex sentences. He could do so well to take many of his sentences and break them up. Are they technically correct? Yes. But are they pleasant to read when they are stacked one on top of the next over the course of pages? Absolutely not. I think this is a larger issue than the grammar by far. Grammatical mistakes plague even the most renowned novelists. But this is a style issue and is more reflective of the author. I would definitely recommend shortening a majority of the complex sentences within. Four hundred pages are not long at all, but this book dragged on, and it was in part due to the sentence length.
I did like the story, but I thought it would have done better without as many narrators. I mean, I get why there were so many, but I think the story would’ve read better without as many. Baka, for instance. I found myself dreading his chapters. The descriptions were vivid and definitely well drawn out, but they too suffered from the over-complex sentences that plagued the work. I do think that description was the main reason why the novel was laden with them. And I know for a fact that cutting some of those descriptions would go a long way in bettering the work. For instance, every time we see a character, we don’t need to get a full-fledged description of their whole appearance. Follow the rule of threes. Give them a description three times scattered through out the novel and your readers will have a solid description. Don’t continue to add more though, unless there is someone specific that needs to be known. Anything over that is redundant.
On the whole, I’d say that I did enjoy my time with Sutton’s work, but I think it could benefit from some heavy edits. I don’t think it was ready for publication in its current state.
Also this is a little odd, and story based. We heard absolutely nothing from this Polari race until they come out in the end of the novel and (spoiler) invoke what I can only imagine to be a Deus Ex Machina. If we had heard of them before their first introduction, perhaps it wouldn’t appear so shoe-horned in.
Three and a half dead brawlers, out of five.
I received this book for free through Goodreads Firstreads.
As of February 17th, 2016, I am reading Joseph Sutton’s novel, Quiet in the Realm. With only one review (glowing) to go by, I must hold my pre-read opinions and fears in check.
PC: Pixabay user MonicaLoreto