So continuing my effort to read and review self-published books, this month I read Micka and Me:Gyrus by Deborah C. Foulkes. At least, I tried to. I got about halfway through before I decided no more. Yes, my goal was to read self-published works, and I think that implied that I would finish them. But I’m not going to feel too terribly guilty about putting down something I didn’t like.
This story had a promising premise: an angel and a succubus in love. Sounds pretty neat, right? I feel like that is such an amazing idea and I want to read more about it. But the book (or at least the first half) did not live up to my expectations. There were so many characters that it was hard to keep track of who was who and who was what. And the world–a community of angels, succubi, and fairies–was not built up enough.
It was an epistolary novel, which I normally like. It makes me feel like a voyeur, looking in on someone’s world. Especially portions that are supposedly diary entries. I like the different things that can be done with this method of storytelling. There can be urgency in letters (or emails for more modern ones) that can draw a reader in. You can have the same character use different voices when writing to different people. You can have a character use another one for a desk–writing the next chapter on his naked back–after a round of hot sex.
But in this book, the blog entries didn’t read like blog entries. The journals didn’t read like journals.
The novel began with the aftermath of a traumatic event. The succubus almost died and was in the process of extricating herself from a love triangle. Only it wasn’t made clear what happened or how her almost dying effected her. So it’s just like “Dear Diary, Nothing much is new. I almost died, but now I’m fine. How are you?” Why bother starting there if you’re not going to describe it and it has no bearing on the rest of the story? I made me wonder if I was reading the not first in a series perhaps.
I wanted to like this book. The concept sounded so interesting. And at times the story grabbed me. One scene in particular I remember, the angel and succubus were having relationship trouble, and the angel started seeing another woman. But she was a succubus too! Trying to remove himself from that situation, but still under her thrall, he went to the main character succubus, kissed her, then plead something like “help me! I’m trapped and my resolve is weakening!” (Ms. Foulkes wrote it better than I did.) I smiled and laughed. But there weren’t many moments like that in the story.