Friday, May 31, 2013

Book 5 and a Demon with a message?

The fifth book for The Artful Readers Club

My review:
This was an interesting story. It was interesting to read from a male POV but I was surprised when POV changed in the middle of the book. It was alright though because the flow of the story didn’t falter. For once it was nice to fall right in the middle of romance and see how the couple fights for love. Characters were beautifully written and I really liked Seth’s and Dani’s relationship. A great read.

This is the book's blurb:
SOUL FOR SALE... Love. Power. Control.

The lure of having it all is strong, and when 17-year-old Seth is given the opportunity, how can he say no? And why should he? With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Seth is an easy target for the evil that invades his soul.

But love is a powerful force, and despite everything, Dani knows that the boy she fell in love with is hiding somewhere behind the darkness in his eyes, and she’s not about to give up so easily.

Time is running out and instead of having control, Seth is quickly losing it. Dani must rely on the truth in her heart to pull the dark force out of Seth. But will the power of love and faith be enough to conquer evil? Or is it too late for both of them?

I followed this tutorial.

Here is my question:  Does a book have to have a message?

I wrote a review for a different book where I was wondering what the point of the story was because I felt like there was no resolution. You know how in school you're taught that a story has to have a beginning, a middle and an end?

In Nigel Watts’ Writing A Novel and Getting Published he talks about 8 points authors should use during their writing process:
  1. Stasis - This is the every day life in which the story is set.
  2. Trigger - Something beyond the control of the protagonist / hero / heroine is the trigger which sparks off the story.
  3. The quest - The trigger results in a quest.
  4. Surprise - Includes pleasant events but more often means obstacles, complications, conflict and trouble for the protagonist.
  5. Critical choice - At some stage the protagonist needs to make a crucial decision.
  6. Climax - The critical choice(s) made by the protagonist need to result in the climax, the highest peak of tension in a story.
  7. Reversal - The reversal should be the consequence of the critical choice and the climax and it should change the status of the characters.
  8. Resolution - Return to a fresh stasis – one where the characters should be changed, wiser and enlightened, but where the story being told is complete.

For me a book needs to built up to some event and then resolve it. Resolution usually means the protagonist and the reader learned something from this event. It doesn't need to be earth shattering enlightening message but there needs to be one to make sense of it all.

Now, the author told me in a very nice way that events were somewhat autobiographical and she was just telling a story and it doesn't have to have a message. Like I said above I disagree with this.

Even though the author just wanted to tell her story, in order for the reader to sympathize with the protagonist and make sense of the events, there has to be some inner monologue to explain why certain actions were taken or not taken.

I'm going with an example here. A young teenage girl is assaulted and nearly raped by a male friend twice on different accounts and she doesn't go to a police or tells anyone about it. I totally understand how that works in reality but when you put an event like that in a book you have to explain to the reader what goes on in that girl's mind that she decides not to take action. You can't just let the reader fill in the blanks.

That's why I didn't see sense in this story because it was just a string of events where actions weren't explained and the only message I got from this book was if something bad happens, you should keep it to yourself and if you stand up for someone or yourself, you get shot dead.

Yes, I got a message from this book even though the author said there was no message. See what happens if the author doesn't explain actions? The reader walks away with a message that the author didn't intend to give.

This book would probably have a totally different impact on me, if the protagonist's actions were explained or at least the reader could witness her thought process.

Linking to Paint Party Friday.


  1. Like you picture to the story! Valerie

  2. I also like your picture to the story. Am addicted to crime novels at the moment and love to be kept guessing who did it. Happy PPF, Annette x

  3. The book's blurb and your account of the book are like reading two totally different books. When I read what you wrote about the book blurb, it felt like it was leading up to something, but you indicated the author didn't think so. So maybe whoever wrote the book blurb was interested in selling the book, and was not the author, not willing to resolve anything.

    Regardless, that is one very scary and spooky demon. It looked like Seth has definitely gone over to the dark side. The artwork is very, very well done.

  4. You are so multi-talented, Natasha!
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  5. great interpretation of the story!

  6. Your picture is scary! Happy PPF :)

  7. lots to think about in this post! great painting to go along with it!

  8. That's a pretty dramatic drawing Natasha. YOu find the most interesting things to read and your reviews are so incise. Happy PPF

  9. I loved YOUR review and your art is totally frightening!!! Sounds like a good read...

  10. Very interesting! That painting is very creepy!

  11. A book has to say something... It doesn't have to be important, life changing or leave the reading looking over his or her shoulder, but it needs to say something--"a little autobiographical" or not. If not, why write it? Who would want to read something that says nothing? Anyhoo, that's just my opinion.

    Love your demon skull... by the way, it left me craving popcorn lol

  12. love your take on the book and really liked the discussion of the resolution thing... nice post...xx

  13. Scary! Love the paint dribbling... like blood! ;) Great review!

  14. This isn't my type of book me thinks! I can follow where you're coming from (with your points) Scary art work! Dxx

  15. The detail of your review using the points in the writing process is clever and has me thinking how I may approach books in the future. This would not be a book I would gravitate to reading, however you do have me intrigued. Your artwork is quite provoking and well done as it evokes fear. Great job, Natasha May! ~ Angi

  16. I like my books to say something. To have a point of some kind, otherwise what is the point of me investing my time to read it. I may as well invest my time in reading a book that does have something to say.

  17. I added your button to my blog

  18. A very interesting review and I agree with every word. A book is like a painting - whatever the author intends, the reader/viewer may well take away a different message.
    Your artwork is well-conceived and powerful, but It is very scary, so with a book like that I'll pass, or I'll never sleep at nights. Well done, I enjoyed reading your well cosidered review.

  19. Love it! The whole purpose of art is to invoke a feeling from the viewer - you have done it in marvelous, scary fashion!

  20. now the devil guy looks scary!!!!

  21. your sketch looks so scary. You are so talented, it's not just pretty faces but you can also draw awesome scary faces.

  22. Very atmospheric art work - stark and effective. I agree with you that a novel should go somewhere. Writers have to think about structure like artists have to compose a picture of design. I don't think it's enough just to recount autobiographical events, there must be some message or meaning, or a definite structural intention. Your illustration, for example, makes a point through clear design and colour choices and that makes it compelling. x

  23. The skull dripping with blood is very graphic shame the book didn't rise to the challenge. So disappointing when things are not explained or left unsaid. Bad writing really.

    Janet xx

  24. Not the book for me as I find the art work scarey!! Wonderfully done though.
    Jen x

  25. great art. i totally agree, i like to have resolution at the end of a book, or at least some message which maybe leads onto a sequel. To be left hanging is annoying.

  26. That's one fierce looking demon!

    I enjoyed reading your review and also the writing tips

    I do think that a book should leave you feeling satisfied and resolved, unless it is designed to shoehorn straight into its sequel anyway

  27. Great artwork - very menacing! x

  28. Oh I would go nuts reading a book without some sort of matter how simple. Surely that is why we learn something, even if it is about ourselves and how we view other peoples behaviour :D LOVE your creepy demon dude!!! :D XXX

  29. Oh my, if your artwork depicts the story I don't think this is my sort of tale. How can one sleep at night with such a vision? ;)

  30. Your review and the discussion was so interesting and reading the comments too. Love your demon.


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