Nicole's Reviews > The Mists of Time

The Mists of Time by Susan Squires
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's review
May 24, 11

bookshelves: frothy-romance
Read in May, 2011

I read a short story by Squires and loved it, and bought two books on the strength of that story.

I disliked this book so much I stopped reading it in the middle.

Why? Well, there's certain things I hate in a novel (especially a romance novel), and this book had it all.

Main character is a romance writer. This seems like a blatant self-insertion. Female character has no friends. Male character has no friends. The no-friends thing bugs me on two levels. First of all, if someone truly has no friends it's hard to believe they could build a romantic relationship. Secondly, it's a cop-out by the writer so s/he doesn't have to create any more characters. It's lazy writing. Diana's superpower is that she knows what people are going to say before they say it. (This is why she can't have any friends.) However, we learn this is her superpower because she's continually surprised when she DOESN'T know what a character is going to say. The reader needs to be SHOWN how this impacts her life - just saying "She knows what people are going to say next, and that makes her weird, so she has no friends" isn't enough. Medraut's name is spelled both Medraut and Medraught in the beginning of the novel - it's like no one ever did the "search and replace" when they changed the spelling at the last minute. It's not that people are calling him by different names, like when they call him Mordred later - this is just a case where the spelling switches back and forth. (This is the fault of the copy editor and not the writer - but it's darn annoying.) The bad guy is just eeeeeeeeevil, a cardboard cutout evil, without any real character depth. Because of this, he's not particularly scary. Boy, if I had to hear Diana's inner voice talking about how boring and ugly she was one more time, I was going to throw the book across the room. A little self-doubt is OK, but the level to which the character had it was unreadable. I just didn't like the hero. His character didn't gel for me. It just didn't seem consistent. And where the heck did he get his money if he spent so much time in jail? Perhaps this was explained later, but I never got to that part. Too much of the author trying to show off how well she knew the city by tediously specifying each street the character uses to get from point A to point B, but no description of the character of any neighborhood. It felt like I was reading Google Maps.

I am sure this worked for plenty of other people, but all of the above stuck in my craw.

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