Book Review: Keridan’s Journey by Michelle Peterson

10792200Title: Keridan’s Journey
Author: Michelle Peterson
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: WBD Books
Publication Date: February 8th 2011
Rating: 1,5 stars
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Review copy provided by the author as part of a Pump Up Your Book! Book Tour.

Project manager by day and artist by night, Keridan Patrick’s simple world ended with the death of her mother. The father she never knew showed up after twenty-five years and introduced her to a new world cloaked in secrecy and myth.
While fighting to keep some semblance of normalcy to her suddenly unpredictable world, she chanced to meet the mysterious Sahaj. Sahaj had ran for hundreds of years from the one soul he was destined to be with but was transfixed by the one he could not live without.
Would old flames and new enemies stand in the way of love?

Argh, what can I say about Keridan’s Journey? This is one of those books that leave you very conflicted by the end of it. On the one hand, I enjoyed the imaginative story that is going on, with shapeshifters, sirens and other magical creatures having to keep the peace between their world and ours. But on the other hand, this book just isn’t enjoyable. All characters lack depth, the story itself is rushed, relationships are built within hours, I couldn’t give less about the main character of this book, there were more spelling errors than I could count on both of my hands and the pacing was just terribly confusing.

I want to give this book a high rating. Really, I want to. Because I have the feeling that the author put a lot of time and effort in coming up with the characters of this book, and to build a world that is intriguing to say the least. The problem is that this book doesn’t deliver. I mean, in chapter one a major bomb is dropped on the readers, saying that the main character’s Mom is dying in what is probably the most rushed and unbelievable death scene I’ve ever come across. Keridan’s Mom passes away, the doctors talk to her for a while, and then she goes for food. She even notices how a waiter who bumps into her start singing love songs right away or that the shop manager is hitting on her. Somehow I have the feeling that if my Mom passed away, I couldn’t care less about what was happening at the moment. Moreover, I wouldn’t bother stopping to get some Chinese. This is probably one of the most irrational and unlogical reactions to a parent’s death I’ve ever seen in a book. But hold on, it gets worse.

Before we very well realize it – a chapter later, I think – Keridan’s long lost father Alexo shows up out of the blue. The man went missing for twenty-five years, but now he shows up and happily informs Keridan that he’s a Siren, a mystical being belonging to another world. Moreover, Keridan is a half Siren. Now if it were me and some strange fellow I’ve never seen before comes and tells me that on the same tone Alexo does in this book, I wouldn’t hesitate to call the mental asylum right away. Keridan however accepts this as easily as if he told her he sold cars for a living. Moreover, in a matter of days she grows very much attached to her new-found father. She trusts him immediately, as if she’s still a little child instead of an adult and when he makes her float through the air, one of his many powers, she decides they’ve become buddies and she’ll call him Pops from now on. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. But what about her Mom? That poor woman who just died a couple of days ago – funeral is never mentioned by the way – and who raised Keridan for a total of twenty-five years? Well, I’m sorry to say it, but poor Mom is just forgotten. Apparently Keridan gets over people dying really fast. Really, really, really fast, which makes me wonder if she even has emotions to begin with. But hey, the fun isn’t over yet.

Her father Alexo introduces Keridan to her new ‘aunts’. Now I can get if it you want to love and trust your own father, but I don’t understand how Keridan can become so close and trusting with these ‘aunts’ practically overnight? On one page she just meets them, and on the next page they’re practically BFFs. This is just another example of how messed up the pacing of this story is. Some parts are dragged out when it’s completely unnecessary whereas important parts are left out completely. This leads to odd timeline jumps and character developments happening too quick for a reader to follow or deem believable.

Let me also introduce to you Keridan’s love interest: Sharaj. He’s not such a bad character. He’s actually pretty original, a prince from a foreign land once cursed to become a panther. When his beloved altered the curse so he would be able to switch between his panther and human side, priests cursed her as well. Now she is forced to kill him or he is forced to kill her, or something along those lines. Again, this was a bit too rushed for me to understand completely, but I thought Sharaj did have a very original background story. On the downside, he’s not such an interesting character. Compared to the others, he is fairly well developed – as opposed to Alexo who has absolutely no personality, or to the aunts whose names are only mentioned sporadically and who could be easily replaced with cardboard figures – but he lacks any outstanding quality. He falls in love with Keridan instantly. I hate it when that happens. When do you ever fall in love with someone right away? Sure, you can feel an attraction, but since you don’t even know the person, whatever your feeling can’t possibly be love. Additionally, he proclaims his love for her in every way imaginable, making him, at least in my opinion, rather pathetic. I didn’t hate him though, but I think he deserved a bit more backbone and a bit less sloppy love story. In my opinion, the other love interest, Robert, a university professor and long-time friend of Keridan was a much more believable option. I even liked him more.

The saddest thing is that the story, essentially, is great. It has so much potential. The setting is original, the storyline is intriguing, there are enough twists and turns to keep it interesting, but it just…lacks. If the book had been 400 pages instead of 250, the story was less rushed, the author had added more details giving us a more vivid setting and characters who actually have depth and personality and aren’t introduced seemingly at random, this book would have been amazing. Unfortunately this is one of those rare books that should’ve been longer. For the story Michelle Peterson is trying to tell, she simply needs more pages. Instead, she seemed to have rushed through most of it, leaving me with a very conflicted feeling. I like the story, I want to read more about this intriguing world, but I don’t want cardboard figures who get over their parent’s death in the blink of an eye and who immediately accept their newly-found father as a trustworthy figure. I want characters who behave like actual human beings. I want depth, personality, issues, troubles. I want this book, entirely rewritten, but longer and with all these aspects I just mentioned. And then, I would absolutely freaking love it. Now, I don’t. And it annoys me, because I want to.

And also, but this didn’t bother me that much, there are a lot of grammar and spelling errors in this book. The only trouble I had with them was that most of them seemed to just have been over-looked. I mean ‘wear’ instead of ‘where’ and those kind of things. This can happen once of course, especially with self-published books, but not as often as it happens here. I have the feeling this book wasn’t even proofread, and if it was, definitely not with enough attention for detail then.

All in all, I must say that this book leaves me with mixed feelings. I want to like it because I like the setting, the premises and the storyline, but it’s just not executed well. The characters have no real depth, the pacing is off, there are basically no descriptions and it just feels lacking in all those departments. I do see great potential in the author though – she has creativity and originality – but she shouldn’t try to rush it that much.

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