While I usually stick to books printed on dead trees, sometimes I take a foray into the ebook world, checking out self-published books, or just to read classic titles that I can get for free.
I was between books, waiting on the library, so I decided to knock some of the random books I’ve downloaded on my phone off the to-read list. First up was the Moon Trilogy by C.L. Bevill. I’d actually started the first book, “Black Moon,” a while back. Having no idea what to expect, I found a fantasy story about werecats and werewolves. I found, however, that the trilogy has more to it than cats vs. dogs.
Each book is dedicated to one of three magical moon objects that, together, can destroy the world, or at least the human dimension. The characters have to secure these items and make sure the villains don’t get them and use them for evil.
So while each book has a different set of main characters, who have to find their given object, equally as central to each story is the idea of imprinting, or soul mates, if you will. Each character, in the course of the quest, is thrown into the path of his or her soul mate, and the books are almost more about the couples getting together than they are about recovering the articles and stopping the end of the world.
The series wasn’t bad, just not what I was expecting.
What was quite interesting to me was to look at how the book, self-published on Smashwords, compares to a book published by a well known house. (Though I’m the first to admit it’s not an apples to apples comparison, unless you’re comparing the first book of another author, and even then, the processes are different.)
Mostly, what I noticed is that, if I decide to refine a work and do the self-publishing option, I’ll need to make sure I have someone to look specifically at words and grammar, as well as having someone who will be brutally honest in telling me what works and what doesn’t.
Bevill wrote an interesting series that would make a great crossover between fantasy and romance, but romance isn’t really my thing.
What I wanted, though, was more character variety. This is where the writing course I’ve been taking comes in. The voices of her main characters were mostly the same. The actions and personalities of the lovers were mostly the same. The couples were mostly the same: one was protective, the other was hesitant about the relationship. One could switch the characters is and it would make little difference.
Granted, in a book that is fewer than 200 pages on my iPhone, it’s challenging to get character development, but that is so crucial to the story. It’s the difference between someone reading the story because they are engrossed, and someone finishing it because they started it and it’s too ridiculous to stop halfway in.
I confess, I was more of the latter, for all that the storyline was interesting to me. What I will say is that Bevill has potential, and she can definitely write good stories, perhaps they just won’t be my genre.