Monday, November 30, 2015

Shadow Wolves Youthful Inexperience by Jason Blayne

I actually want to preface this review to say that I am not writing these reviews to be a mean person, and I am not writing them to discourage anyone from writing. I am writing these reviews as a reader for my fellow readers, as a fellow writer, and also as a future editor.

Doubleplus ungood

Josh, Justin, and James are three boys about to start eighth grade when the novel opens. They are thrown into a boot camp by their Uncle Mike which brings them closer together. Throughout the course of the novel, they have their hearts broken, they start a life of crime, and they try to pull themselves out of the mire they've created for themselves. 

This novel reads like it was written by someone who speaks English as a second language, and like it was only a rough draft or an outline that got published. There were too many errors for me to focus on the novel. It was like trying to put a puzzle together just to figure out what the author was saying. I don't know how it got published in this form, unless there were absolutely no editors involved. 

As far as plot goes, I was frustrated the entire time because the author chose to glance over these huge life events and skip to a time when the boys are just hanging out. As a reader, I know these mundane events happen and I would prefer not to spend time reading about them. I want to know about how Josh felt about his sister getting married; I want to see the look on his face when she walks down the aisle and know his inner life as a character. Instead I get a very detailed description of the boys eating pizza. [Spoilers ahead] There is a moment in the middle when the boys are involved in a huge heist and that could've been so interesting to read. But once again, it's glanced over and this huge heist is allowed maybe three pages on my Kindle. 

For the characters, they were incredibly flat. I know the author was trying to present this as boys who come from a troubled past and have to deal with their inner demons. It really just came off as these high school guys who are jerks to women and who get all or nearly all of their girlfriends pregnant by age eighteen. There was not one single healthy relationship in this novel. As for inner demons, Josh gets his heart broken and turns into a jerk. I'm pretty sure having your heart broken is not a unique experience and should not throw you into a dark depression at age fourteen. 

My overall impression of this book is that it desperately needs an editor. I will not be reading the sequels, and I would discourage anyone from reading it. 

Buy Shadow Wolves Youthful Inexperience by Jason Blayne at

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