Happy Monday, bookworms! Did you miss me? Sorry for being AWOL for so long. I’m back with a review of Ava & The Trinity: Initiation. Thank you to C.J. Black for sending me a copy for review consideration!
*Trigger warning for sexual assault, rape and murder. This book might not be suitable for YA audiences*
Year Of Publication: October 1st 2017
Publisher: BlackHearts Press
My rating: 2.5 – 3 stars
Ava is a young girl whose life is turned upside-down when her family was attacked and her brother killed by a those who were looking for an Artefact. So Ava wants to find out why the murder happens and revenge her brother’s death and joins the Order of Graves.
The plot is revolving around Ava’s quest of finding the man that killed her brother and her struggles after joining the Order of the Graves. I initially struggled to get into it, but once I read some more, things picked up. I struggled with the pacing of the plot throughout as sometimes the plot moved slower for no good reason, sometimes too fast. Overall, the idea was good and interesting, but I would’ve wanted more from the execution; it needed to be pulled together more, some chapters I felt were not needed at all as they didn’t really added to the story and made the plot more sluggish than it had to be.
The strongest point of the book was the characters. The characters had good enough backstory to understand their motivations and actually enjoyed the multiple POV’s and it worked to get that individual “voices” heard. However, the main character Ava was quite grating and appeared to be childish and annoying, especially in the beginning. Her internal monologue was outright annoying to read, however she had some redeeming qualities such as loyalty and her undying wish to find justice for her family. She is also trying to keep positive and upbeat when things turn sour and endears herself to the others. What I struggled to understand was her inability to decide if she had or had not romantic interest in some of her male companions, she often wished to be kissed by two different men in their entourage, but then she would forget about that… She gets a lot less annoying towards the end which I guess counts as growing. The other characters suffer from the same fate of not really knowing what they want to do and leaving the reader unsure as to why they chose to do certain actions which were either dumb or didn’t make sense. I liked them for their individualism and the different aspects they bring to the story, but I struggled with some of them. I feel that we didn’t know what the characters truly wanted to achieve, but as the story progressed, I found myself warming up to most of them, wanting to spend time with them.
What we get in terms of character backstory, we lack in terms of world building. I finished reading the book and I still cannot say much about the world the characters inhabited and how the machinery works, or the history of the place. I wanted to understand and know more about the world and the roles of the Artefacts because they are such an important part of the story, yet I felt I didn’t learn enough about them.
Regarding the writing, I feel that it needed more editing, I found some errors here and there and the extreme use of “…” grated on me, however, it is a good effort from the author with this debut. The novel could use an editor to pick up some of the loose threads and pull the story together a bit more; there is a little too much waffle for the sake of character development. However, C.J. Black has a flair for the dramatic and weaves fantasy with darker elements very well. His imagination can conjure stuff of horrors!
Overall, I did enjoy this book and I would read the sequel. I am glad I got the change to read his novel, and I admire him for self-publishing! Well done!