Monday, May 25, 2009

Sovay - Celia Rees

Summary: For privileged young maidens in the year 1794, adventure seems limited to primping, preening and sitting for portraits. But the beautiful Sovay is drawn to more thrilling pastimes--namely, donning a man's cloak and holding up stagecoaches in broad daylight. Posing as a highway robber began as a lark to test a suitor's devotion. But when Sovay lifts the wallet of one of England's most dangerous men, the stakes become critical: she discovers that her father, who is mysteriously missing, has been accused of treason.

Soon robbery is the least of Sovay's perils. On a mission to clear her family's good name, she becomes entangled in a web of deceit and duplicity. London's underground net of spies and informers holds tremendous power --and it is closing in quickly on Sovay. (picture from amazon.com--excerpt from book cover)

My review: I've purchased several books by this best-selling author (never having read any of them) because they seemed, at first glance, to be fun empowering reads for young girls. I have a few favorites in that you-go-girl-genre and am always looking to add to the List. Sovay, however, got nowhere near the List. Not that list anyway. In an effort to avoid wasting any more time on this book I'm going to attempt be brief.

I can’t tell you the relief that flooded me at the end of this book. There was not one single moment of the time I spent reading that I ever connected with the characters or storyline. Not one. I was very much a woman sitting in a room reading words off a page—and extremely reluctantly at that. It was such a complete mess—a jumble of inconsistent characters, changing perspectives, and contrived “adventures”—that it made my head spin. Sovay was quite possibly the most poorly written character I have ever read. She was supposed to be leading a double life, but the author, Celia Reese, was unable to manage making either side of Sovay's personality believable. Was she bold and daring? Or naive, dim-witted, and in need of the protection of every man on the face of the earth? We'll never know. On top of that, Rees constantly eluded to Sovay’s romantic interest in one man or another, stringing it along until the last 30 pages when she finally decided on someone with whom she had zero chemistry whatsoever. The only thing that I liked, even remotely, about this book was it’s historical setting—the French Revolution. I haven’t read a book in that setting before and it was the only life preserver in an ocean of bad writing.

It took me over a week to read this book. Nine days to be precise. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that it actually took me that long, but I simply never wanted to read it (unless you counted before I opened it). I really expected more of a best-selling author and can only think that this book must have been some sort of severe lapse in judgement on the part of Rees, her editor, and publishers.

My Rating: 1 Star. While it is possible that a younger reader might not pick up on some of the things that drove me to insanity, I still find this book to be a gigantic waste of my time.

Sum it up: I don’t understand how this book could have passed through so many hands and still gotten published. I'm sorry to say it Celia (as I'm sure you read this blog daily) but it was nine days of my life I will NEVER get back.

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