Monday, 5 May 2014

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Nerve thrum and screaming blood, wild and churning and chasing and devouring and terrible and terrible and terrible-

A sentence like this is what is called purple prose. It sounds sensational, filled with tension and conflict, but readers have no way of connecting these verbs and adjectives to a character and so ultimately wonder, who this is about and why should they care? The only question this raises is how does blood actually scream? Put this way, such a question reveals the ridiculousness of this sentence and its style.

After this opening sentence we have the first thing said;

"Eliza. Eliza!"

The opening dialogue introduces a character, or in point of fact, a name, which isn't really that awesome. It does not reveal characterization or move plot forward, so is in essence superfluous. On the plus side, it is nice that there is dialogue so early on.


A voice. Bright light, and Eliza fell awake.

So this opens with the dream cliche. No wonder blood is screaming. However, these lines read more like poetry or a rap than prose, which is a style that is popular today, but is nothing more than melodramatic mobile textspeak, as if the author is depending on syntax to create tension and emotion and not on concepts like conflict and character. It's almost like intentionally dumbing it down.

The rest of the first page introduces another character as they discuss Eliza's screaming style.

I love the title, but that isn't enough to hook me.

Verdict: Epic Fail

Theodore Moracht

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