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Book Review

Book Cover

The Park Family
Mairi: Retribution


Author: Lisanne Valente
Publisher: Matador
RRP: £7.99
ISBN: 978 1 78589 923 2
Publication Date: 14 February 2017

It's always a bit of a shame to receive a book to review where the writer has spent a not inconsiderable amount of time on its creation only to find that I just don’t like it.

The Park Family: Mairi: Retribution (2017 422 pages) is a fantasy novel by Lisanne Valente.

She has created a world where demons and angels are real, as are the fae. Prominent amongst her world building are the Mistdreamers, humans who have been granted the ability to travel through the Veil to other worlds and dimensions. The novel follows the travails of its central character, Mairi.

As far as I can discern this is a self-published novel in a series of three. I’m guessing that Valete has a dedicated following as her website indicates that she has written a number of other books around the concept of angels and demons.

I will admit I have never read any of her other novel nor have I read the first in the series, this being the second, so some of my criticisms may spring from this.

I found the book too busy and dense. The first two chapters are little more than a massive info dump revolving a massacre. There are too many characters introduced, some come and go so fast that it was difficult to keep up with them and if you cannot identify and empathise with the characters then it is difficult for the reader to care about what is happening. Overall, it made the novel quite difficult to read.

Likewise I did not like the style of writing which seemed to contain narrative inconsistencies. There were also issues around the amount of emoting all the characters seem compelled to do, everyone emotes which only tends to either interrupt the flow of the narrative or tell you things about characters which could have been teases out in the main body of the story.

It did remind me of the Mills and Boon books and that sort of over the top bodice ripping theatrical style and maybe this is what the author had intended. Certainly I do not mean this as a criticism, those books sold by the ton and made their authors good money. Like most genres there will always be subgenres and niche markets, so it is no surprise that female authors have arisen to fill a fantasy market with more female orientated fare. I guess I am both the wrong age and sex for this particular piece.


Charles Packer

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