Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weaver of Darkness by Melissa L. Webb

Reviewed by Tempest.

Seventeen-year-old Liss Taylor wants nothing more than to be normal. All she wants is to graduate high school, go to college, and marry her childhood sweetheart. But she knows normal is something she can never be. The constant nightmares of desolate wastelands and the tattoo she was born with is proof enough; normal is not in her future.

A Darkness is now creeping into her town. A Darkness which is weaving its way into the fears of those around it, causing terror to come alive and death to stalk the night.

Who is the new guy in school? What part does he play in all of this, and why does he seem to awaken a piece of her she never even knew existed?

Now Liss is in a race against time, joined by friends, old and new. It will take her places unknown and show her things she never dreamed possible. Will she be able to rise above the darkness and save those she loves, or will she lose everything, and succumb to the evil known as the Weaver of Darkness?
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Let me start off by saying what I liked about the book. The concept behind it was very interesting, that's why I was interested in reading it to begin with. I was curious to find out about the strange tattoo on her wrist, as well as why Andy died in the prologue. I liked how Webb connected his death, made it important and meaningful, by having Andy visit Liss. However, there were a lot of things I regretfully did not like about this book. For one, the point of view jumped around. One minute we would be in Liss's head and the next we've taken residence in Jeremy's. This would have been fine if we stayed there for a while, but it was only just for a couple sentences or so before we back with Liss. Another thing was the very beginning of the first chapter. Having that many characters introduced at once was confusing and off putting. I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep reading because of how confused I already was. Aside from Rob, Jeremy, and Liss, those other characters don't even seem to need to be there. They could have been introduced later on in the story, which would have made them stick better. When Sarah shows up at Liss's house later on, for instance, I no longer even recalled which one she was because they'd all been thrown at me. Another thing is the way Jeremy and Rob treat her. I get that because he's her boyfriend he's worried about her, but there are times when that over protective streak turns into something a little more intense. I was reminded of that cell phone commercial where the boy is dressed in a cell phone costume and he's constantly calling his girlfriend every four seconds. Liss is at a funeral for a boy who was like a brother to her, and Jeremy actually asks her if she's alright. Really? I understand he's just trying to look out for her, but there is such a thing as being over bearing, and not letting her properly grieve (or feel that she has the right to at least) at a funeral for one of her closest friends is kind of wrong. I want to like Jeremy, and I feel that that's also the authors goal, but it was hard when every four seconds he was practically jumping down Liss's throat with, "are you ok?". Sometimes people aren't going to be ok, and that's fine. It's healthy. I personally had a friend who died a few years ago and no one asked me if I was ok during, because no one was ok. I'm assuming that Jeremy and Rob also knew Andy, so the two of them shouldn't even be ok. I wanted Liss to be a strong character, having to deal with the burden of her nightmares and neglectful parents, but it was hard for her to seem that way because she just kept taking crap from everyone. The scene where she yells at her mom in her room, for instance. I know I'm back tracking here but I just realized I have to say something about that. Her mom literally came home to tell her Andy died, and instead she yells at her and waits to the very end of their conversation. Then, instead of feeling bad about Andy (who supposedly is like a brother) Liss feels guilty for yelling at the mom she keeps saying is a crappy parent. Huh? There's not being surprised (a thought Liss has after finding out about his death) and then there's just being callous. I'll give it to Webb though, her parent's do seem like totally nut jobs. But I would have liked to see more of that. Proof that they were really neglecting her. They seem like smart enough people, for instance, to come up with a better solution then a wrist brace to cover the tattoo. And if Liss hates it so much, she can just take it off. Sounds like her parents are never around anyway, so it's not like they'd notice her without it. We also don't know enough about her dreams from the start. Why does she think they're real? Does she believe they're connected with her tattoo? It just seemed strange that one minute she's crying over how she's a freak because of some birthmark, and the next she's dropping that her nightmares are real. But we don't see that she's ever gotten any proof of that before she sees Andy so...? I did love that bathroom scene though. The details were great and for the first real time in the story I was sitting on the edge of my seat. But, another major thing is when Liss wakes up in the hospital for about a minute just to find every one thinks she's tried to kill herself. The nurse would want to talk to her alone, without her parents there. There would also be others there who needed to talk with her about it, not just a "social worker". Suicide attempts are taken incredibly serious. It doesn't matter that her father is a doctor. People would be there who needed to hear her side of the story. It would have been simple for her to say she tripped and banged into the mirror, after all she'd been given a sedative the night before and was no doubt disoriented. She literally is just put back to sleep before she can explain herself at all and wakes up at home. A week has gone by. A week? What. She mentions that she believes her father has been keeping her asleep to make it easier on himself, but let me just say doctor or no, there is no legal way he would be able to remove his still unconscious daughter from the hospital. They would have needed to wake her up. Not to mention keeping her asleep that long counts as being in a coma. As far as we know she's literally been asleep the entire week. There's no way her dad could have done that to her. Especially not after a suicide attempt. No one would have let her leave that hospital before speaking to her extensively about that, in part for the possibility it was actually abuse by her parents or brought on by them. He would have had to the very least woken her up before moving her from the hospital. This made me so upset. It was like the author was just jumping from point A to point G because it was easier. A lot of the book happens to be that way. I want to actually see things happen, not just jump from one event to the next. To be perfectly honest, I only got halfway through the book. Maybe it picks up for the other half, but it just wasn't worth me finding out. It wasn't cohesive enough for me to get into it, or care at all about any of the characters. All of the relationships here need to be fleshed out, given more life and detail. I would recommend this book to someone who can look past all of the changes in pov, jumping about, and non believable occurrences. There are people out there who can read a book just for the overlapping story. The concept for this is great, and if it was polished better I would give it another shot just because the idea still interests me. But this isn't a quick read, so unless you know you're going to be stuck on a long flight I wouldn't read it.

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