Title: Weave a Circle Round
Author: Kari Maaren
Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Did not Finish @ 41%
I love complex, weird, interesting fantasy/sci-fi books. Want me to believe in aliens, time travel, fantasy worlds, etc no problem BUT, you must give me a construct in which your world stands on. I don't need every detail or a complete explanation; but I do need a bit of a frame for the type of story I'm getting into and where it might be headed.
I hate DNFing a book; but when I cannot come up with a single reason to keep reading and am dreading the book I know it's time to give up.
Weave a Circle Round fails at a fundamental story requirement; setting up some sort of existence for our characters that gives something to build from. If you aren't going to give a setting that helps give a logic to the story then at least make your characters really interesting. Unfortunately the characters are just as flat and uninteresting as the non-existent plot.
I can follow a book for sometime that is failing at plot if I like the character(s) enough. Unfortunately Kari Maaren has not created any character that I cared about or was even intrigued by; including the crazy neighbours. They were all very generic, boring or otherwise unmemorable. Even our two weird neighbours, that seem to be the catalysts for everything that happens, weren't enough to keep me interested.
At 40%+ of a novel I expect to have an idea about why things are happening or at least what is happening. Instead Maaren takes our main gal and sets her up for bullying at school; then suddenly she ends up in a Viking timeline with one of the crazy neighbours. Say um... what?!?
There is zero indication about why this has happened or what it even means. Meanwhile the boy/crazy neighbour is clearly a time traveler with some sort of psychic power and yet still nothing fits into anything. For me it felt like each piece of the puzzle was from a different puzzle entirely that would never fit together. And frankly even if they do by the end I just didn't care about our people, the time travel or even what made the neighbours so odd.
It's okay to take me on a wild fantasy ride but give me characters I can care about and some sort of pieces that appear to go together.
I believe this book needs some serious review by beta readers to work on capturing the attention of the reader and giving nuggets of information that might fit together or at least intrigue the reader into continuing to read.
It also needs some character help to make at least our main gal more relatable if not actually likeable.
It surprises me that TOR published this. They are usually a solid publishing house. Somehow this one slipped through the cracks and got published. They might do well to pull it back and try again.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.