♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee)'s Reviews > Burn

Burn by T.J. Klune
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's review
Feb 09, 2012

bookshelves: dnf

Let's Compartmentalize (DNF'd at 64%)

I want to start this off by saying that I respect what TJ Klune tried to accomplish with this book. If nothing else, Burn is an ambitious story.

Having said that, this book really made me question whether an author's level of talent as a whole can be separated from a singular book that they've written. I think that overall talent can definitely be separated from just one book written by that author.

An author who is very talented can miss the mark and put out a book that is not well written and that just doesn't work.

This is only TJ Klune's second book so I can't say whether or not I think he is a good writer. I can say that, in my opinion, with this book Klune has put something out there that just doesn't work.

Good writing is the sum of many parts: A good idea, a well executed plot, character development and prose.

Re: The idea
The kernel of an idea from which Burn grew is absolutely wonderful. I loved the concept of a tree that gave birth to the Elements who in turn created the world. I can honestly say that I have not seen anything like that in the M/M genre. Klune gets points for coming up with something fresh.

Re: The Plot
I'm very torn over what I think of this book's plot. It had alot of potential and I could see the journey that Klune was trying to take the reader on.

Unfortunately, the plot never reaches its full potential. It's bogged down by the romance which pops up at awkward moments. The execution of the plot is clumsy and it stumbles along like a baby who's just learning to walk. You think the baby has hit its stride and then it veers off, runs into a coffee table and ends up sprawled out on the floor.

I winced every time the plot got derailed with a poorly placed make-out session or a long scene where the dominant male character goes caveman-possessive on the more submissive character. It was painful to see the author get distracted from what it seemed like he was trying to accomplish.

Re: Character Development
The main characters in the book were a disappointment, most of all Felix. Felix was a very flat and unremarkable first-person narrator. He swung between cliche snarkiness and being annoyingly passive. The book takes a big hit due to the fact that Felix was a poorly developed character. It's very hard to successfully write a book in first-person. It's so, so important that the author creates a main character that is riveting, a character whose head you want to be in for the duration of the book. Felix was just not that kind of character.

Seven was a man who was supposed to be the ultimate protector, the ultimate alpha male. He fell short. Was he possessive? Yes. Was he bossy? Yes. The problem was that in order for me to believe a character is a take-charge-and-dominate kind of guy, I have to feel like the man has an inner strength. Simply having Seven order Felix around, and panic when Felix is not near him, does not convince me that Seven is someone who inspires loyalty and obedience.

Because Seven and Felix were so flat, I couldn't become emotionally invested in them or their relationship.

Re: The Prose
This book was overwritten. Good prose, prose that has an impact, is economical. Using as many ten cent words as you can does not automatically make your book a work of art.

"Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph."
-Mark Twain

I can't say it any better than Mark Twain.

At 64% this book had exhausted me and the bottom line was that I wasn't enjoying it. Will TJ Klune improve as time goes by? I think he will. I hope he will but this book, standing on its own, was just not a successful effort.
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Reading Progress

02/06/2012 "I need to have 100 designs drawn out and ready to screen print onto tee shirts by April 1st...but I am taking a break to read this book."
9.0% "I'm coming off of a book where I loved the first-person narrator from page one...I'm not really loving Felix but the story is interesting." 3 comments
50.0% "DSP needs to suck some content editing into a hypodermic needle and mainline it into this book's veins...but I'm DETERMINED not to give up on it." 22 comments
52.0% "The sequence of events happpening at this point in the book are simply a repeat of what happened earlier in the book. Why am I being told the same thing twice?" 2 comments

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-22 of 22) </span> <span class="smallText">(22 new)</span>

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Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions oh dear thinking i wont even try this one

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

The last 15-20% of this was a great story. It's too bad you couldn't get to that pay off point, but I absolutely agree with the issues you bring up. Especially re the character development, the inappropriate interjection of the romance in spots and the overwriting. Wait! That's your whole review. ;)

message 3: by Edina (new)

Edina Rose Great review. You just didn't say you din't like it much, you said WHY. That's not always easy. The fantasy seems quite original and appealing, but I'm still waiting before deciding if I should buy the book because of the "other stuff". I'm character driven so...

Lauraadriana Great review. This was a tough one for me, I enjoyed so many aspects specially the mythology he created and all the political stuff. But the main characters, just failed to shine for me.

♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee) @Kate Yeah I've had a couple of people say that the last part of the book is the best. Unfortunately, part of the challenge of writing a novel is that you have to catch readers at the beginning, hold their attention in the middle and then give them a good finish. This became too tedious in the middle for me to stick with it. :(

@Edina I like to give a reason why things don't work for me. Sometimes the reasons are hidden in a poem or an R&B song but the reasons are there. :P

@LA Thanks :)

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Laddie wrote: "@Kate Yeah I've had a couple of people say that the last part of the book is the best. Unfortunately, part of the challenge of writing a novel is that you have to catch readers at the beginning, ho..."

I loved your blog post over at LL. I hope people listen!

I hear yah on the hooking. This was a DNF for me early on and then I curious and stubborn. ;)

Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions Great review.

♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee) Bubbles.. Dane wrote: "Great review."

Thanks, Dane. :) How are you, Honey Badger?

Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions I'm pretty good after the cobra hunting last night. ;)

Also agree with your blog post.

♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee) Bubbles.. Dane wrote: "I'm pretty good after the cobra hunting last night. ;)

Also agree with your blog post."

Lol! You don't give a shit like a honey badger and you're fierce like a tiger and deadly like a ninja. You know what? I kinda want to write a story about a honey badger tiger-shifter who's a ninja.

Glad you like the blog post.

Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions You should! And give him a manly name like bubbles

♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee) Hahaaaaa!

Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions Hey its a manly name very studly like

♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee) The man who moves in the darkness like deadly smoke. The fierce and awesome warrior. The man who single handedly slays whole armies! The shadow soldier who strikes fear in the hearts of all people!!!!

The man called *dun dun duuuuuuuuuun*


I like it.

Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions See how fitting it is! And then he has to be absolutely adorable and super sweet... The nice ninja slayer

Lauraadriana Bubbles the ninja slayer...Yep that'll work.

Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions Bet people underestimate him with a name like that. Works to his advantage

♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee) He should wear tighty whities and keep ninja stars in them.

Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions That's hot

message 20: by Poxie (new) - rated it 1 star

Poxie ha. I'm right at 64% and I've been wanting to ditch it since about 30%. I'm so tired of reading this. Get to the point already. >_<

♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee) Poxie wrote: "ha. I'm right at 64% and I've been wanting to ditch it since about 30%. I'm so tired of reading this. Get to the point already. >_"

Yup, that was how I was thinking when I got to the point where I decided to DNF it. I was really, really tired of reading it.

M'rella oohhhh.... thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!
I thought it was me :(

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