ARC kindly provided by Mary Ting in exchange for an honest review.
Since the previous novel in the series, ‘Between’, a lot had been introduced. Vampyrs or vampires have been presented as fallen angels who’ve been changed be a witch into creatures needing blood to sustain themselves. I found this particularly interesting because of the way the author decided to integrate this particularly popular fantasy creature. I couldn’t wait to delve in!
It was a slow beginning for ‘Beyond’ I would sometimes get bored with the course of events but meetings between Claudia and Michael always kept me going. The story reminded me so much of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ because of the way Michael kept Claudia from looking him in the face – as if hiding his beastliness. There were lots of mundane everyday life moments for me that I thought unnecessary.
Characters continued to evolve and develop in ‘Beyond’. I saw different sides to character reveal itself and shine and learned new things about them. They were all easily distinguishable, not from the way they appeared or spoke, but from the way they acted and their thoughts. I loved that! Each added their own to the overall story and it was great fun returning to them once again!
The plot was a bit…dry…at times for lack of better word. I would have dearly loved to see a subplot going from the villains point of view! There were some glimpses of them in the beginning and they really thrilled me but at other times they would disappear for ages and leave me high and dry. The chapter endings could also use a bit of a cliff-hanger as they would really encourage readers to continue turning those pages.
‘Beyond’ is told in third person past tense throughout the majority of the novel. Although I favour this “person” I have continually found it awkward to read throughout the novel and at times in the previous. It hadn’t really let me connect. I know that in previous situations – such as the prologue – where the author wrote in first person, I found it a lot better. Claudia’s perspective IS written in first person though whenever the author deviated from her to another character’s perspective, it was strange. Slightly abrupt and very detaching, but a good use of style to differentiate between different characters and their views. However, a downfall to the author’s style which I’ve noticed this time round was that the author did not stay consistent with Claudia’s perspective. She would often alternate between using first person and third person. This majorly confused for me and was very jolting, too. This was probably the main reason that I have been unable to bond with Claudia in one of the previous novels in the series.
The author also had a tendency to state the obvious and leave very little to the imagination. It was slightly restrictive and it showed the author’s weaker writing side. Words or phrases were also repeated which was okay, but something that should also be worked on. I believe that Mary Ting could also work on her prose due to its overly simplistic nature at times.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t as much about vampires as I hoped there would be. In fact, there was hardly anything about them except in the beginning. I was extremely sad as I believed the author had something quite clever up her sleeve and it would have done the book well if she chose to make vampires key creatures/beings in her novel. It really would have put a spice and edge to the plot and the action.
The ending was beautiful. A wonderful little surprise lies in store for our characters. Seriously, I closed the novel and sighed. I’m still giddy from the way it ended!
The grammar could have been worked on but everything else was quite good. There were a few typos but no spelling mistakes. Overall, a well edited self-published novel.
Congratulations to Mary Ting on publishing the THIRD novel in her series with the loveliest little ending!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!