Cynthia Ayala ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Willow is a young girl with a peculiar gift: she can see people, people that no one else can see, and she can feel their emotions. With her gift, she helps many of them find peace and happiness—until the nightmares begin. Images of a young boy haunt her every night. Marks appear on her wrist, branding her. Soon, her father reveals a family secret that sends her spinning. By powers brought on by the Zodiac, the stars in the sky and those who live above the earthly plane. Running for life, she searches for her soul mate; Willow must prepare to fight with powers she can’t control against forces she doesn’t understand.
While the synopsis is incredibly interesting, readers will be left disappointed. This novel failed in almost every way possible, from characterization to plot to the inclusion of unnecessary details.
Jamie Magee self-published the novel on July 20, 2010 via Lulu.com. This is the first novel in her Insight series to delve into the fantasy genre with an aspect of paranormal romance. But the end result was a disaster.
Willow is a half-developed character with a remarkable gift that people like her call “insight.” She has the power to travel between dimensions and calm those in need. Soon, as nightmares start to plague her, the vision comes of a man who strips her of her powers and is seemingly obsessed with her. In that instant, Magee uses that to hook the reader, invoking a sense of mystery. As the novel progresses, however, it’s forgotten and replaced with superfluous details.
There comes a point where the novel itself begins to circle. The characters are dull and bring nothing new to the table, which harms the romantic aspect. Magee establishes that Landen and Willow are soul mates connected between dimensions, but the reader can’t empathize. The dynamic between them is lackluster. There is no build, no detailed description of their love, no intense display of emotion. It’s a very two-dimensional representation of true love.
The lack of depth isn’t exclusive to the main characters, either—it’s a problem throughout the entire story. Each chapter is filled with needless details that slow the plot, and eventually many of the the plot points within the chapters begin to circle.
This was a disaster to read and will give readers a struggle, especially for those who cannot leave a book half-finished.