Jan 25, 2012

Review: The Soul Garden by Cege Smith


There is a story in there, I promise.

Even though I wasn't sure, I kept telling myself that and felt compelled to finish reading the short story, The Soul Garden by Cege Smith.

My hope was founded, once I got past the back story and extra words that it took to get there. The first part has too much information, at times going between memories, which created the opposite effect of I believe Smith was aiming.

There was too much story to create tension. As readers open the book they met are with about five pages worth of back story and a little bit of action. No dialogue.

There has to be good a balance of all of them and I believe a good editor would have been able to help Smith cut out the unnecessary parts to get to her story quicker and with much better pacing.

The Soul Garden takes place in a society where people follow the rules of the governing body, The Office of Souls. Humans are born without souls and because of the limited number of souls, babies have to wait until their Chosen Day to get one.

The books builds up to Soul Implantation Day 3675, which is where all the craziness starts.

The second half of the book reads better than the first, probably because all of the back story is out of the way and we're left with interactions of characters and actions. Although well written from a grammatical standpoint, sentences could have been tighter.

A book shouldn't open with back story, but a catalyst moment that creates the journey. The second chapter was better suited to be the first as it creates a moment in the future to look forward to.

Each chapter is written through a different character's point of view: a gardener, a top acolyte, an asylum member and one of two parents of a soulless child. This provides a decent way to get many characters into the story and explain their different role in a story, much like George R.R. Martin's fantasy series A Story of Fire and Ice (The Game of the Thrones).

Smith does a good job of creating breaks at the ends of chapters to leave readers wanting more. One of the things, I do like about the story is that it ends when things start to get intense. Readers will have to pick up the next book, which is due out this year to read the rest. This is a good way to build interest for a story and gain momentum.

(Based out of five)
Story: 4
Characters: 2.5
Dialogue: 2
Editing: 3
Readability: 3

Overall: 2.9

This a free book offered on Smashwords.

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