“The Gift of Charms” by Julia Suzuki: A Book Review

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I’ve been sick with an ongoing, unstoppable cold and a terrible case of writers block. (I currently have NO voice! Literally! I have to text my husband, currently sitting in bed beside me, if I want to talk to him. I can whistle too! That’s how I call him across the apartment.) I have, however, been reading a lot and I thought I would share some of that with you.

When I first started out on twitter, I was in heaven with all the free ebook copies authors were tweeting here and there. Then a published author direct messaged me and asked me if I would like a free copy of her book to read and review. SWEET! This had never happened to me before. Plus it was a fantasy book and I LOVE fantasy. I complied eagerly. Although I love reading I do not frequently post public reviews of what I read. However, the closer I get to seeking a publisher for my own novel, the more I realize how important a review can be to an author. I got her email, downloaded my copy to my iPad, and tucked in with a contented sigh and cup of tea.

Wow… I turned the pages, bit my lip, and wondered if anyone would ask me to review their book again after this.

The Gift of Charms

Plot summary: The book was called The Gift of Charms and is apparently the first of an upcoming series. It is about a young dragon, named Yoshiko, who is destined to save the land of Dragor. Dragor is the hidden land where all the dragons escaped when the human race tried to force them into slavery. In the heat (no pun intended) of their final battle with the humans, the dragons lost their magic rocks (Charms) that hung around their necks. Enter Yoshiko, generations later, who hatched from a mysterious egg, is endowed with the ability to change color, and the destiny to retrieve their missing gemstones.

Let me start with the positives. I gave the book a two star review on Goodreads and Amazon. The story appeared to be aimed at 8 to 10 year old crowd, and the plot would certainly entertain them. It was cute and original. Both stars are kudos to her for imagination. There were also positive anti bullying messages within the text which are extremely necessary in this day and age.

The execution however, leaves much to be desired.

This book reads like a first draft by someone who had a great idea, but rushed into publishing before careful review. Her writing, and sometimes grammar, are poor. Her sentence structure is inept and convoluted, occasionally leaving me to wonder which character the pronouns were referring to. She began far too many sentences with conjunctions, most frequently “but,” which made the phrasing of her prose redundant and boring. In general, her sentences either rambled or dragged. She also used far too many unnecessary paragraph breaks, creating odd disconnected thoughts when the prose and action should have flowed. I do not know where to begin with all the unnecessary words within her manuscript, I found myself mentally editing out entire sentences which were utterly superfluous.

I have read reviews that forgive her writing style as, “meant for children.” I disagree. I read almost everything, save intense horror novels and erotic romance. Included in that broad spectrum is a frequent dip into children’s literature. A good children’s book should be written just as well as a good adult book, it is only the plot that varies. C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia is loved by adults and children, not just for plot, but because it was a brilliantly executed work of literature, the same with Tolkien’s Hobbit and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. You can knock Travers’ Mary Poppins in your thirties as not being “your cup of tea,” but it is difficult to dispute that it is well written and imaginative.

The Gift of Charms had all the promise of imagination but fell far short of the well written element of literature. I am sorry to say that I cannot personally recommend it.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, and decide for yourself what you think, the link is below. Let me know your opinion if you do choose read it:

14 thoughts on ““The Gift of Charms” by Julia Suzuki: A Book Review

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    1. Yes it is. It’s about a young girl named Charissa who finds herself stuck in the middle of a country’s internal revolt. I’m just finishing up editing my second draft. I think a few more tweaks here and there and I can start submitting it. I guess that means I’ll soon be finding out if mine is any good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s not a bad idea. The feedback would be beneficial for my editing. I have another novel that I’m working on which I was going to publish excepts from but got sidetracked. I’ll have to pop over and have a look at your excerpts tonight! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for the review! I find myself reading kids books here and there, just to see what my kids are reading, and this helps. Looks like my boys won’t be reading this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know what’s going to happen now don’t you? The book will launch in September and be an automatic worldwide hit! People will be scrambling to the stores to buy multiple copies and I’ll have to retreat into a hole, scratching my head with one hand and sucking the thumb on the other. I only say this because the last time I gave a book a public bad review it was “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I still don’t get it! You should have seen the look on my face when I wandered into Borders and the Harry Potter shrine was torn down to make way for the Edward and Bella memorial. I think I blocked the entrance to the store for five minutes while I gaped at the, “Coming Soon to Theaters” sign.

        Liked by 1 person

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