Jun 9, 2012

“The Forever Girl: Sophia’s Journey” by Rebecca Hamilton

“The Forever Girl:  Sophia’s Journey” by Rebecca Hamilton is the first volume in “The Forever Girl” series.  Ms. Hamilton’s story is a most original take on the vampire mythos.  She weaves in witches, shape shifters, and religious fanatics to produce an interesting story which makes the reader wish for an extended ending. 

Ms. Hamilton has created an intriguing protagonist in Sophia.  The self professed practitioner of Wicca, which dominates the first sections of the story as a secondary conflict is set up in Sophia’s battles with Mrs. Franklin, a local fanatic Christian.  At first, I was afraid the entire book was going to be a pro-Wicca pamphlet and educational piece, but was relieved the story progressed beyond this.

The progression of Sophia’s relationship with Charles, the attractive stranger a mutual friend introduces her to, seems to drag the flow of the overall story.  I found myself nearly dreading to read once again the “are we dating or not” conversation.  Also, the ending seems a bit rushed as we are hurriedly introduced to a technology not yet seen before in the book.  This technology definitely seems to be a deus ex machina.  Ms. Hamilton would have been better served by exploring and explaining more of the story to solve her protagonist’s problems.

The dialogue flows quite well and helps push the story along as it should.  We are introduced to some of the back story through Sophia’s discussions with her mother and old friends.  Through one conversation, we have a quote which has become one of my favorites:  “Perhaps you might consider life is complicated enough without your helping things along.”

There are several examples where the “Show Not Tell” rule slows down the flow of the story and detracts from the overall experience.  At nearly every new day we are walked through Sophia’s morning routine and choice of clothes.  I had hoped this would have a bearing on the next portion of the story, but that expectation was unfulfilled.  There are a few other instances, but the morning routine example was by far the standout. 

As I read through “The Forever Girl,” I was struck by several mistakes in spelling, grammar, and story.  I had thought perhaps Ms. Hamilton had embarked on the road to self publishing without a proper editor.  However, I see “The Forever Girl Series” is published by Immortal Ink Publishing.  I feel that perhaps this editor has done Ms. Hamilton’s work an injustice in not properly editing the book prior to release.

Overall, I found “The Forever Girl:  Sophia’s Journey” to be an entertaining story.  I look forward to more of Ms. Hamilton’s writing.  I believe she is blooming with the potential to be a great storyteller in the paranormal genre.

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