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Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether by touring the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or taking a road trip to the next town. After attending three different universities without managing to square a degree, she decided to do the next logical thing; become a writer. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of the Heaven's Edge series and Silver Hollow. To stay tuned, please have a gander at her website: http://silverwoodsketches.blogspot.com
on Feb. 11, 2014 :
I won a copy of this book in Elle Casey's Springtime Indie Book Giveaway.
It took me nearly 2 months to get through, because unfortunately I did not care for it at all. To start, the book description provided (on Smashwords, on Goodreads, on Amazon, etc) is extremely misleading. It covers only, perhaps, the first couple chapters of this very long book, which is otherwise just a dragging, repetitive, convoluted series of nearly-identical scenes in which the "heroine", Amie (who is in her late 20s but come off more like a young teen most of the time), flits around a strange faery world in corseted dresses. It's also entirely irrelevant that Amie is a novelist herself, as this is mentioned only in the beginning with a tiny callback towards the end. It is meaningless -- she could just as well be a gas station attendant or a dental hygienist.
The book is just one meandering, confusing sentence after another. So much so that I barely knew what was going on a lot of the time. The plot "reveals" are so buried under all the flowery language that you can't even tell when there had been one!
Entirely too many characters, as well, and some of them have multiple names used more or less interchangeably, even though a big to-do is made about the importance of true names. The majority of these characters also speak in a bizarre made-up idiom that is the author's attempt at distinguishing the world of Silver Hollow. This is an respectable goal, but ultimately just comes off more like mildly offensive adolescent imaginings of what eccentric British people sound like. The slang is laughable at best, as was the random codeswitching between 'you' and 'thee', 'not' and 'nay'.
The romantic aspects are kind of terrible. While both of the supposed love interests have a certain kind of bad-boy thing going for them, they are also inconsistent in their characterizations and in their motivations for loving Amie. (Amie is really not special beyond her impressive birthright, just a bit of an audience stand-in. And as I mentioned, comes off not as a woman but as a very young girl, with little agency.) One of the men is Merlin/Myrddin/Emrys -- a nod to Arthurian legend that is not at all earned or even used to any good effect.
If I had not won this book and been obliged to finish and review, I would have given up a long time ago. My only positive comment is that it's clear how much the author loves her characters and subject matter. This was obviously a labor of love, and that shines through.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 21, 2013 :
This review was first posted on Once Upon A Book by Falon.
Do not judge this book solely by the summary given above, it barely begins to scratch the surface of Silver Hallow. I really ended up liking it, and I have already begun recommending it to friends.
There are just some stories you settle in to read and stars align, or just something clicks in one's head and it seems like everything is going to flow harmoniously. And that was the case for me with this book. As I continued reading Silver Hallow it was as if my brain took a seat in a large plush comfy chair and then did not want to leave once it was in residence. As the scenes unfolded like a dream, it became more and more apparent that Jennifer Silverwood had woven an incredibly engrossing and rich tapestry, that I was sad to reach the end of.
We're brought into the world of Silver Hallow by way of a slightly perhaps anxiety ridden American paranormal author Amie Wentworth's dream. There are reasons for this paranoid behaviour as poor Amie lost both of her parents in a horrible accident. The reader would think she'd be free of such awful things, when some equally dark happening befalls her. Only this time there are some crazy and unbelievable circumstances, and a dark eyed saviour and a miraculous event that changes it all. And this seems to be a tipping point for our heroine. As the story truly begins we trip and meander along in step with her as she first heads down this incredible rabbit hole into a universe, even her author's mind could never fathom as being real.
When Amie first arrives at Silver Hallow, the place is dark and dreary but soon after it seems the very nature of the world around her seems to come alive along with her presence. How long can she deny that that statue over there is not a statue at all, or that the odd inhabitants of the castle hush their voices and cast furtive glances of awe as they watch her pass by? Why will no one answer her questions? Once our intrepid author begins to realize she's not in Texas any longer, she gets to branch out more. And when she meets her mysterious saviour from before, and another draws her interest. Things that were meant to be hidden soon begin bubbling up to the surface, bringing to light answers she wanted, needed even; but along with the good she may also learn of things never wished to know. Shaking her world further on the new foundations she was only just again beginning to build!
Silverwoord has a way of portraying colourful and engrossing characters, and I particularly enjoyed the whimsical way they spoke. I appreciate a mythological creature in the fae world that talks with an "old world" flourish, and Jennifer was able to make me giggle with some of the things that came out of their mouths.
Honestly there is a lot of information covered in this book, and I do not want to give it away. Which I could so easily do without even meaning to! I am not even including the names of the other characters because as you read on and since the story is linear, little by little the information trickles through the cracks. Half of the fun of this novel for me was feeling like I was straining for the answers along with Amie as bit by bit things wiggled into sight.
Bottom line is, I found myself loving this book. I honestly and really appreciated the way Jennifer Silverwood wrote a wonderfully, enticing, whimsical, world that felt fantastic to dig my imagination into. Give it a try, and I am certain you will love this journey too.
Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)