Friday, June 5, 2015

Book Review: The Missing Kitten by Jesse Rice

   Over the last few weeks, I've been getting ready to dive back into Kitten Mysteries book 3. I've taken a bit of time off with school and general procrastination, but to get myself back into the tone of the series I decided to re-read the first two books. Thus far I've read the first one and decided to do a book review and talk about what I thought of the first book I published. This is the first time I've read the book since publishing it, so it will hopefully be interesting to see what I think of it.
   The first thing I noticed is that it's kind of slow. There's a lot of running around without really getting anywhere until the climax. Though, maybe that's because I kept finding the terribleness and feeling generally anxious about how 'bad' the book was. The prologue, at least, felt well written to me (though some descriptions were a bit unnecessary). However, with its darker tone, the abrupt shift into the first chapter's goofy feel made the read a bit awkward. A reader told me that this book is a strange combination of a children's mystery with a dark thriller. So, take that as you will.
   While speaking of unnecessary descriptions: the pasture numbers and the directions and the general running around is way too confusing. Even me, the one who knows the landscape that I wrote about, kept wondering what in the world was going on. That kind of stuff should be left up to the imagination or, at least, described in a much more complete sense rather than just randomly mentioning things. I've heard from my readers that the map in the back of the book helped, but that's still something I have to work on. I hope I did better with that in the second book, but that's a different book review.
   Another thing that struck me is that my writing is pretty unpolished. It's like an excited kid telling a story, lots of jumping around and talking and stuff, and then a brief bit of description to help (or confuse) the reader. I need to work on making my exposition either more interesting or more relevant (maybe I'll do a post on that later).
   Normally, in a book review I would talk about the theme here. With this book there's not a whole lot of a theme, though there is one section which I'm proud of (I'm not sure if that's in a cheesy sense or in a good sense, though). One character talks about how perfection is not innocence or naivete; rather, perfection is an encounter with and a rejection of evil. I guess other readers will have to make up their own mind whether that's a theme actual presented enough in the book to be worth talking about.
   The last thing about this book is this: even with all those previous quibbles, I still feel it's one of the best books I've written. It's fun, it's not shoving a moral down my throat (though there is still one there), and it sets up stuff for the rest of the series without making it seem like a set up novel. Though, there are definitely some spots that push it away from being an entirely standalone story. Still, I think it's par for the course for a kid's book (not sure if that's a good thing, though...). I'd give it 3.5 to 4 stars, though I must admit I'm probably somewhat biased.

   Anyway, enough of my rambling: what did you think? Have you read The Missing Kitten? If you have, comment below! Or tweet me @Jesseorice. Did you think my review was fair? Or has this review shown that you'll never read The Missing Kitten? Comment about that! Basically I'm just asking for interaction because I get bored just typing on a screen all day. With that said, I guess I'll type at you next week! Bye.

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