Fantasy (Teen), Horror (Teen)

Darkchylde: The Ariel Chylde Saga by R. Queen

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I first requested this novel, I had no idea that it was based on a comic book series. My experience with comic books and graphic novels is limited to manga that I used to read back when I was in elementary school, and a Graphic Novel english course I took during one of my semesters in undergrad. Recently, I’ve started reading the Wonder Woman original comics, and I must say that they are quite enjoyable (review to come when I have completed all of them)! However, I’ve never heard of comic books being adapted into novels, so I was very interested to see how it would play out. Here is my review:

Ariel Chylde has horrible dreams that plague her constantly. It’s caused her to lose her boyfriend, and become a social pariah at school. Life is no better at home, with her father’s drinking habit. Nowhere is an escape for her, not even sleep. On her 18th birthday, something happens to Ariel, something that causes her nightmares to escape and leads to terrible acts occurring all over town. She is the only person who can save her town from these terrors, but before she can do that, she must save herself.

I tried really really hard to push through this novel. But I only got to the halfway point before I gave up. While the premise of this story was interesting, the writing style and the jumpiness of the plot was too much to bear. One of the first things that struck me as weird was the prose; it was, for lack of a better word, unnatural and unrealistic. I’ve never heard a teenager talk in such a peculiar way, one time using very sophisticated and mature words that literally no one says, and another time using modern lingo. The descriptions of setting and characters didn’t feel complete. It really felt as if the author was trying to describe each frame of the comic but without allowing it all to connect. Or sometimes, the author would not describe the thing properly at all, expecting that the reader could somehow see it without reading anything. The storyline made no sense at all in the beginning and while it began to put itself together at the halfway point, I had gotten so frustrated with the uncoordinated storytelling that I gave up. Overall, this novel had a lot of potential but because of its wording and irregular plot structure, I was unable to continue. I think this story would have been better off staying as a comic than in this novel format.

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