The Whispers of the Fallen by J.D. Netto // I’m still confused…

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Whispers of the Fallen by J.D. Netto // I’m still confused…The Whispers of the Fallen by J.D. Netto
Published by Tristar Publishing Group on August 28, 2013
Genres: Fantasy (YA)
Pages: 299
Source: the author
Amazon


Ever since the dawn of days, rumors about the Diary of Lucifer echoed throughout Elysium. Hidden from all human knowledge, the Diary was kept a secret, locked away in the small village of Agalmath.
Isaac and Demetre find themselves in a dangerous journey as they uncover the truth about the Diary and those who guarded it for all these years. However, for Isaac and Demetre, danger lies at every step, hidden in the most unexpected places.
Hunted by the Nephilins and the Fallen Stars, they must find others who will join them in the battle against the coming darkness.

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The book was quick to jump into the story. From page one there is already a lot going on. It’s complex, but I think at the risk of making it confusing. It became a very hard story to follow because of a plot that was mainly described to the reader through many info-dumps. By the time the information was mentioned again, you had to go back and double-check what they were referring to.

Honestly, the story didn’t make much sense to me. There are these diaries that the Nephilin are trying to get to give Lucifer with a physical form. That makes sense, but the way it played out didn’t. For some reason, Lucifer doesn’t tell his followers of all the journals, just one. Why would he do that? He has to have all of them to become whole again, so what is the benefit of keeping the other’s a secret? To just build tension between characters? It seemed impractical to his mission. The books have to be read by the book bearers willingly, but I guess there’s a loophole if the Nephilin just possess them? The Shadows are their army, yet they have to escape the town before the Shadows come? It was just a very inconsistent and hard to follow the story.

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There were so many characters with so much potential, but they all fell flat. I never really got a feel for their emotions, even of the main character, Isaac. His actions throughout the book did not match his thoughts. From the beginning, he was very apprehensive to believe the Nephilin and Fallen Stars and repeatedly states his lack of understanding. Yet, when given the opportunity to have ‘immense power’ and go on a dangerous mission, he quickly accepts. For such a scared and confused young man, he came to a decision fairly quickly. His motives for that weren’t really explained and his thought process didn’t coincide with his actions.

The other characters were very forgettable. Even while writing this review I’ve forgotten most of their names. His friend, Demetre, is not present in the story (but that’s a spoiler, so I won’t go into detail). The Nephilin he is traveling with seem to have potential, with a dark past and an internal struggle to fight their evil nature, but it’s not done in an effective way where you feel connected to the characters emotions.

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The writing was a bit amateur and inconsistent. I think it aims to sound old-time English, but it never quite reached that. The dialogue was robotic and bland. It seemed like there were times when the author didn’t want to put the effort in, and others when there must have been a thesaurus nearby. For example, and these are direct quotes:

“I looked around and saw nothing but the white nothingness that had surrounded me. In the midst of nothing…”

“Rapidly, my vulnerability was succumbing to her provocative manipulation.”

The words “gasped” and “cried” were used often during dialogue where, for me, it didn’t make sense. It was used as a verb to replace “said” in places where it just didn’t work visually.

The pacing was hard to follow. It was action-packed and read like a video game. Fight scene – cut scene to establish story – fight scene – cut scene to establish story – and so on with almost no transitioning between settings. It continued this way throughout the book. This style affected my concept of time. I was unclear exactly how many days the story was spanning. It never defined day or night so it seemed like it all occurred in one day.

200 pages in and the book switches POV from Isaac (the good guy) to Nephele (the evil queen, I think?). That just made the story even more confusing. It left Isaac so abruptly and never returns, leaving so many unanswered questions. Also, another example of inconsistent writing; at one point, Nephele says “Bastard. Dodge this!” That seems one, out of character for an evil queen/Nephilin leader/whatever she was, and two, another fail at the attempt to use old-time English. It came across as immature and ruined her character for me.

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While the concept was great and it could have been a unique YA novel, it did not become that. The characters were hollow, the story was confusing and the writing was agitating. I left the story with little desire to continue on with the series. Overall, I did not enjoy this book.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Representation
Overall: 1.5 / 5