Atavus Falls Review

Atavus Falls - Jack J. Carroll

I always feel bad when I'm reviewing a debut book with a negative opinion. Especially when it's obvious that the author tried really hard. I'm going to be as constructive as possible.

Atavus Falls was a great idea. The idea of language being a virus is one that has been played with a few times, and I'm definitely open to seeing more exploration of the idea. However, I think that type of story needs the hand of an experienced writer to guide it, and Atavus Falls did not have that.

-The multiple points of view did not work well. Maybe if they had been pared down a bit, it would have seemed a bit more cohesive. As it was, it was more a scramble to remember who was who when they were talking.

-The language was, ah, over the top. I think most of it is typical first book stuff. Everyone imagines him/herself to be the next great literary figurehead. They lose their story in the desire to make it sound gorgeous.

Not all stories need to sound gorgeous. Sometimes one needs to err on the side of sparsity rather than give in to the urge to be loquacious about the mundane.

-Between the excessive language and the overpopulated POV changes, the story came across extremely muddled. I spent several moments trying to figure out when and where we were in the story at times. I don't like the switches in time and space even when it's very well done. When it's not, my dislike deepens until another word fits it entirely.

There are other things, but these are the big ones.

I will say that I did like the ending. I do feel that the book got a lot better around the 65% point. I think if the author learns to make sure what he's saying is important to the story, and clear, he'll improve by bounds.

Unfortunately, I just can't recommend this story.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author for review consideration.