by Virginia Cavanaugh, fantasy (2010)
Liquid Silver Books, $3.99, ISBN 978-1-59578-759-0
Secrets Of Night suffers from an overload of Big Important Whatever Words. Right off the bat I'm told that our heroine Kierra is a Sorceress-Senator for the Order of Night. What? Our hero Kale is a Vampire who is also a Senator as well as a Triad. Huh? The titles in all their capital-lettered glory suggest that these guys aren't the ones you call if you want your shoes to be polished, but I can only guess by that point that the Order of Night is the ruling council that governs all spooks and ensure that they behave. These characters then discuss things about the Triad and the Order and I'm completely lost.
These two meet when they decide to play the vigilante. Sierra is looking into the possibility of Shape-Shifters behind the attack on several of her Sorceresses. Yes, there are many Important Words in this story. I guess a shoe isn't special enough until it's called a Shoe. Respect my Shoe! Ahem. Kale is... well, he likes to play the mysterious guy with a hidden agenda. So, will they discover who is behind the foul play?
Apart from all those Annoying Big Words which are, frankly, just plain ugly to look at from an aesthetic point of view, this story also suffers from a pretty blatant kind of information dumping technique - Kale and Kierra love to explain things to each other. They pretty much narrate the entire story to each other! Even with all the narration, the author doesn't get into much details as her idea of information dumping is stringing Big Important Words together as if These Very Impressive-Looking Words will somehow magically project the meanings of those Big Freaking Words into my brain via telepathy or something.
While not as bad as a first draft, Secrets Of Night does nonetheless come off as a second or third draft. A little less conversation, much more action, less Big Freaking Gobbledygook, and actual description and depth into the world building would have done wonders in ensuring that this story will be so much more worth reading.
Search for more reviews of works by this author: