Note: I received a free copy of this book from Online Book Club in exchange for an honest review. The Journey was selected as an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day. You can check out both the novel and other reviews here!
I was actually quite excited to read this book based on the description and genre. But the more I read, the worse it got. By the end, I’m left with almost exclusively negative opinions.
Elizabeth and her friends, Jasmine and Renee, share a birthday. Excited for their 18th, they make plans to go into town. But early in the morning, they are visited by mysterious men that look like rebels, warning them to escape. With their families, they flee the town before it is overtaken by enemies they never expected. Soon, they’ll learn that they aren’t the ordinary girls they think they are. What is the extent of their abilities? And more importantly, who can they trust?
The concept, while not groundbreaking, seemed interesting enough. Magic and witchcraft usually has me there in a heartbeat, but despite my best efforts, there were simply too many flaws in this book to tolerate it, let alone enjoy it. The author seems inexperienced, to say the least, and has much she needs to work on. While her premise has the potential to be solid, she does not give enough depth to the character or plot to keep the reader’s interest.
There are two different plots that take place in this novel, both of which are filled with a variety of characters. But none of them jump out. Elizabeth doesn’t take the time to develop the characters, merely scratching the surface with each. Most seem like a carbon copy of one another, and that is true for both personality and physical traits! She uses similar descriptions for many characters, rushing through character backgrounds in a short paragraph when she bothers to share them at all. Characters like the Lady Lenilla, who could have been not only intriguing but likable are written in a weak way, making me roll my eyes rather than wanting to read on.
There were definitely scenes in the novel that had potential, but like the characters, Elizabeth rushed through them. There is a torture sequence that could have been horrifying, gripping, and helped up the tempo of the entire book. Instead, it falls flat and feels like a sidebar. Elizabeth seems to be very new at this, and she needs to work on making her characters and plot less one dimensional. If it isn’t believable, it isn’t likable.
Some people don’t mind a few grammatical and spelling errors. And that’s fair enough, I’m sure you could find a few in this post itself if you looked. But there gets to be a point where it’s distracting, and Elizabeth most certainly reached it. Some of the spelling errors were grade school mistakes. Here are just a few:
*”Vein” instead of “vain”
*”Applaud” instead of “appalled”
*”Confidents” instead of “confidence”
*”Solider” instead of “soldier”
There are countless missing periods, and not only misuse of commas, but commas in places that literally make no sense. She misses quotation marks and places them in the wrong spots. These are errors that can be found on nearly every page. Either Elizabeth needs to take more care when writing the book, or hire a new editor.
In certain sentences, Elizabeth tries to use a language less modern, as most fantasy novels do. However, she mixes it with common phrases like, “yeah, man”. She frequently uses analogies that are obvious, to the point that it is annoying. Not to mention the fact that at one point she literally messed up her own character’s name. To say that The Journey is amateur is an insult to amateurs. I rate this book 1/5 stars, but believe me when I say I don’t even think it’s worth that rating. I would not recommend this book to anyone. I would recommend, however, that Elizabeth take much greater care in her writing. She has a lot of work to do.
Remember, this is just my opinion! A lot of people enjoyed this book, so feel free to check it out, and other reviews, over at Onlinebookclub.org!