Grey Lore

Despite the perks of living with her rich aunt, Ella’s new life in Napper, Indiana, is pretty much tragically boring. Until Ella starts hearing strange voices. As rogue wolves begin to stalk the edges of town and a serial killer with a penchant for silver bullets draws closer, the city of Napper seems to wake up. Ella, with her new friends, Sam and Sarah, might be able to find out what the strange occurrences mean. Except that they’re all being pulled in different directions by people who love them; and some who don’t. Before they lose their way to the whispers they hear from the past, or the call to a future they’re not sure they want to create, the friends will need to confront who they really are and figure out what’s hiding in the silence of their sleepy little town.

Genre

YA fantasty

Critic Evaluation

Cover Design Score: 10

Cover Design

The cover is mysterious and compelling, as is the book. Overall, it’s attractive and very well-suited to the story, especially as it includes several key plot components. These mystery items become unveiled as the story continues to progress.

Book Blurb Score: 9

Book Blurb

The book blurb is concise, and does a good job generalizing and framing the entire story into once nice, tidy little package which is actually one lengthy paragraph. Even though talking animals are mentioned, which is often a theme in the fantasy fiction genre, a bit more could be done to also cast the spell concerning the eerie, magical mysteries that are deeply imbedded in the town of Napper. It’s a fairly frightening tale, & it seems that the blurb could illustrate this some more through it’s use of tone and language.

Formatting Score: 9

Formatting

The formatting was very precise, both grammatically and as far as sentence structure was concerned. Although there were some lengthy sentences, often the sentences were quite short. This appeared to emphasize perfection, as in the perfect little town of Napper, and Ella’s Aunt Vivi, with her flawless perfection too. In addition, the reader could often feel the boredom and the angst too, through this type of brief & concise composition.

Grammar & Spelling Score: 10

Grammar & Spelling

The grammar and spelling throughout were perfection itself. It appears as if the story has already been professionally edited:  developmental, substantive, and proofreading too. It literally seems flawless.

Plot & Structure Score: 10

Plot & Structure

The plot and the structure of the book Grey Lore, alternately seem to require both complexity and simplicity. The book provides each in a way that makes perfect sense. Simple, yet perfect sentences, combined with a complex group of characters, and an even more complex tale to tell.

The opening conflict in the story involves Ella, left orphaned when her mother suddenly died from a car “accident.” Ella is subsequently taken in by her “relatives” in the town of Napper; “relatives” her mother had once known well too. Obstacles in her path included being essentially all alone, & having to adjust to a new, yet well-to-do lifestyle, & a near perfect residence & “aunt.” The action began to unfold from the beginning, as Ella began to see that the town of Napper had some deep, dark secrets, & things became even more interesting. It became climactic with the Festival of the Red Candle, which was the very reason for Ella’s presence in Napper, as she was beginning to understand. Ultimately, Ella fought a brave battle between good and evil forces, which led to the falling action once the evil was dispelled from the town of Napper, post the event. The ultimate resolution was that finally a peaceful way of life transpires in the end, with no more dread and fear surrounding the small community. This plot was about as creative as they come. In fact, this book would also make a great movie, & it would be easily converted into film.

Character Development Score: 9

Character Development

The authors have cleverly shared just enough insight into the characters, without overdoing it at all. Some characters took more time to develop, & probably the best example of this is Sam’s  father, Robert Calhoun. He is a blank slate for the most part at first, but as the story continues to progress, his role is significantly developed. Ella’s deceased mother’s character also unfolds further while reading the book, and she seems to haunt the surroundings somewhat at times. Ella’s character is clearly complex, and develops as she matures, along with those of her good friends Sam and Sarah. Vivi remains mostly an enigmatic mystery until the final pages where the reader becomes aware of her secret personas. Many characters are introduced into the story, and without any one of them, the story would be incomplete. All together, the character development is a complete success.

Originality Score: 10

Originality

It would be challenging to think of a fantasy fiction tale that had more originality than this one by comparison. There are numerous fascinating characters, who are all so unique and interesting in their own way. They each blend into the plot with such harmony, adding the necessary substance, while making this book a total page turner throughout. The tale, it’s props and characters, all lead into the utter and complete original work that comprises this book. In fact, there are so many fascinating elements to the book, that an index of some sort would be a useful addition.

Pacing Score: 10

Pacing

The pacing throughout Grey Lore is noticeable, because it remains constant. It repeatedly draws the reader into the story again and again, despite all the paths the story takes. There is literally never a dull moment in dull little Napper, no matter which character is up next. This book is undoubtedly a page turner from start to finish.

Use of Language Score: 9

Use of Language

The language throughout Grey Lore is in a word, short. It is concise, and it wastes very few words. This is not a work of literary fiction, but fantasy fiction instead. Considering the nervousness of some characters, for example Jack & his father, the perfection of others, such as Vivi & Sarah, and the utter boredom as narrated, of the sleepy yet “perfect” little town of Napper, the use of language in this brief manner seems fitting. The language is a backdrop and it enhances the mood that is being created.

Overall Readability Score: 10

Overall Readability

Grey Lore is written in simple & plain language. In addition, it is primarily written in short, cut to the chase sentences too. Although there are many characters who play very critical roles, as well as many scenes and locations too, the authors have done a wonderful job with their creation because they remain memorable throughout while reading the book. It is in fact, prose at it’s best. For these reasons, the overall readability of the book is excellent. It does not require flowery adjectives or complex sentences to be a success. In fact, probably the opposite.

This book received a critic's score of 96 out of 100 possible points.

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