Saturday, December 5, 2015

Down the Wormhole by Ana Franco (A Self-Published Novel)

So as promised, folks, here is a post on Saturday :)

Down the Wormhole by Ana Franco 
Page count: 173 pages (in e-book format)
Release date: September 21, 2015
Series status: Book 1 of Wormhole Series

Summary (from Goodreads): 

Medusa is a nice girl, Aphrodite is empowering, Loki vanished on thin air, Isis doesn’t have a memory and Anubis is the only sane one. Join them all in an adventure that mixes the styles of ABC’s Once Upon A Time and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson. What this can possibly mean? Why, chaos, of course! 

My Rating: 2 stars

I received a free PDF of Down the Wormhole by the author Ana Franco in exchange for an honest review. However, I regret to inform you rabid readers that Down the Wormhole just did not do it for me. And it saddens me a lot because I really looked forward to this book. I mean, a combination of Percy Jackson and ABC's One Upon a Time! Who isn't down for that? 

So as seen in the summary above, Down the Wormhole is about a bunch of teenage gods and goddesses pulled from different mythologies. You've got Thomas, a Celtic prince, Natalie, who is actually Medusa, Andrew, who is Anubis. And you've got "Kitty", an orphan girl who pops into their midst. 

The premise of this book is great and it had the potential to be a wonderful, engaging novel but it fell flat for me. For one, I couldn't really understand it. I know that Ana is not a native speaker of English and therefore, I applaud her commitment and effort on this piece of writing. You can truly tell that she worked hard on it. But the plot, the characters and the writing all didn't make sense to me. It didn't flow. The characters did one thing, jumped to the next and did something completely insane without any good reason why. Not only that but the plot was completely crazy--just all over the place. The romance between Thomas and Kitty...ugh, no, that didn't make me sigh, it made me cringe. The girl just decided to have sex with this dude and get pregnant! She's sixteen, for God's sake. 

The writing wasn't great. It was choppy and broken up and I couldn't make sense of what the characters were doing to each other. I couldn't keep track of who was who, who did what to who and why who did what. It was very hard and strenuous for me to read because of that. 

Furthermore, there was really no character development. I hated Kitty. I'm sorry but it is true. The girl burst out of nowhere and changes her mind so quickly. One moment she's talking about having sex with Thomas, then she's having sex with Thomas, and then she's having his freaking baby!! I mean, what?? Kitty is a completely stagnant character...I see no signs of mental and emotion growth. All I see is her getting horny and doing it with her Celtic boyfriend. In my opinion, the plot seriously deteriorated towards the end: it was just sort of fanfiction. Her reactions to things are completely unexpected and wild and halfway throughout the book, I was ready to hit her over the head with my phone. 

Not like the other characters were that much better. Thomas annoyed me to no end, Eris was a douchebag. She's the goddess of discord! She's a pest, something that just infuriates people! She shouldn't be so powerful. Had I been any of the other characters, I would've liked to punt her over the fence. Natalie and Andrew were a little better but only a little. 

All in all, I didn't like this book that much. I didn't know what the characters' aim was and I didn't understand their internal dilemmas. I am a reader that likes things to be obvious and I usually don't get it unless the author pushes it in my face. I want to see glimpses of the characters' deepest fears and what tugs at them when they go to sleep at night. I want that deep stuff, framed by vivid verbs and descriptive adjectives! So yes, I am a reader that asks for a lot of things. I am just disappointed that I didn't see much of it in this book. 

I would like to say kudos to Ms. Franco for some great descriptive language. The beginning was very engaging with the fight between Sif and Eris. I think she should continue to write because this series has a very interesting premise. :)

Some pointers I would give to Ms. Franco: Think about the connections between your characters' actions. What motivates them to do the things that they do? Why do they do it? Also, I would try reading over your work like you're a new reader yourself. That may be hard to imagine but I think it may produce some surprising outcomes. :))

Adjective: Alright

“But you mark my words: I will be there when everything you love is destroyed. Everything you didn't even believe you would have.” 
“It's rather good to pretend to be normal with someone.”  

Ana Franco was born on a small town on the interior of São Paulo, Brazil. She is known as a blogger under the name of “Ana the Bookworm” and her Young Adult novel, “Down The Wormhole”, is her first take in writing in English. Ana attends to college of Literature and Teaching in her country as well as she has taken courses in areas of Children’s Literature, Literature in schools, influences of the world wars at the world’s cultures and in writing for a global market.

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