One Great Year

One Great Year - Tamara Veitch,  Rene DeFazio (I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

I must unfortunately admit I had a very hard time finishing this book, and only did so because I was supposed to review it.

The ideas behind it are interesting, and could indeed have spanned for quite an epic over millenia. Besides, I've always been fascinated by the concept of reincarnation and those linked to it (such as that of the jati), and being able to also see the characters in some of their previous lives is something I tend to like in books. But I found the execution lacking here.

What turned me off almost from the beginning was how everything, or almost, was told instead of shown, which made up for a dull style, and one hard to stand for so many pages. As a result, connecting with the characters was difficult, both because this kept me distanciated from them and because of how one-dimensional they seemed. I never got why Helghul made such a choice in the cave, for instance, and mostly he appeared like a tantrum-throwing kid who only wanted Theron because Marcus wanted her. What were his initial motives, anyway? As for Theron, she was described as so perfect in every way in her first life that she was just unbearable; then her sole purpose in the following ones seemed to be the object of Marcus's quest, as well as a kind of prize for Helghul. There was also quite a lot of head-jumping, with the point of view quickly shifting from one character to the other and, again, telling the reader about everything, including a bit of foreshadowing (to be fair: I like the latter when it's done through events, only not when it's through explanatory sentences).

Another big peeve of mine was how Marcus, basically, totally wasted his 'gift'. I thought his having memories of his past lives would prompt him to *do* something in each new life, if only to further his chances of finding Theron, but he didn't seem to do much, especially in his latest life, with so many means at one's disposal. Somehow, I found myself rooting for the bad guys, because they, at least, had been planning ahead and showing signs of cleverness. With heroes like those, no need for enemies, I guess.

It's too bad. I really wanted to like this story. But I just couldn't.