Book Review: The Sheol by Mia Hoddell

eBook: 120 Pages

Series: The Wanderer Trilogy #1

Publisher: Self-published

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Being a trained killer, Kala can handle most things the world throws at her. However, when she murders her fiance, Kala’s life is thrown into chaos. Forced to leave everything behind, she runs from city to city, in fear of her psychotic boss who is seeking her death. If that wasn’t enough, she also has to cope with the re-appearance of her dead fiance who is struggling to keep a hold on his sanity as he strives for revenge.”

That blurb sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I thought so. I’m sad to say that this book disappointed me, though.

It starts off strong, throwing the reader right into the midst of the story by showing us Kala killing her fiance and the circumstances in which it happened.  Speaking of the MC, apart from a couple of instances, I really liked her. She was ruthless and unapologetic, especially when it came to surviving, which I found to be a fresh and believable perspective. What I didn’t find believable were her reactions to certain major twists that went down, like the appearance of her dead fiance.  She doesn’t really question it much nor does she wonder where he’s at when he disappears for a while.

The book is narrated from two POV’s, Kala and Chris, the fiance, and every time the voice changes, you’re taken two-three steps back into the story, to experience it from both sides fully. While a cool device, it doesn’t make for an easy reading flow.

I really liked that Hoddell doesn’t treat her readers like they’re idiots, explaining every single thing. All you know is Kala’s an assassin and she works for The Company. New concepts, new lore is introduced throughout the book and you’re left on your own to figure out what they mean.

The idea of Wanderers, people who died and went to this sort of limbo, and the Pastures – said limbo – were novel and interesting. I wanted to know more about them and about The Flawless. Who are they, where are they and so on. There were some new additions to the ghost lore, too; in The Sheol ghosts can cut living people if they touch them.

Moreover, that ending was a bold move!

What was really off-putting about this book, big time, were the writing and the editing. The writing was choppy, the narrative mode kept changing between first and third person, sometimes in the same paragraph. I noticed a couple or more grammatical errors, each one making me twitch just a bit. It came across as unprofessional and rough. Editing is very important!

If you can look past that and if action/paranormal novels are your thing, you might consider giving it a try. However, I couldn’t get past it! On top of everything else, I’m a major grammar nazi.


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