Saturday, November 15, 2014

St. Blair: Children of the Night by E.W. Skinner - Book Review

**This review should remain spoiler free, and is 100% honest**

St. Blair: Children of the Night is a dystopian novel set in Manhattan in the year 2202. Society is split into shifts - Dayshift and Nightshift - and is run by the Global Good. Everything seems perfect; things are running smoothly and citizens are kept happy...except for one person.
The story starts with the main character, Sybille, standing on the window ledge of her building, pining over a young man she saw on the train. Unable to handle her emotions, knowing she can never be with him, she considers jumping to end it all. Obviously, though, she does not.

Her change of heart, a diary from the past, dreams of a winged man, and unhappiness due to restrictions all set Sybille on a path that can change everything. She just has to decide whether or not it's worth it.
When I first read the synopsis for St. Blair, I was immediately intrigued. The cover was pretty awesome, too, and I knew I wanted to read this book. It starts off well enough, drawing you in to the plight of Sybille. That didn't last long for me, though.

I'll admit I struggled to get through the book. The religious tones didn't really bother me, although I am not religious. It's more supernatural than preachy, in case that would be a dealbreaker for some readers. What I had problems with was the editing, the plot, and the characters.

Firstly, I feel kind of bad about being so critical about grammar and spelling, but if a book has constant mishaps with both, it really frustrates me. I contantly stop reading to fix the mistakes in my head; sadly, this book had too many mistakes for me to just ignore.

Second, the plot, to me, jumped around too much. It seemed as though it was being told from different POVs on occasion, but it was very scattered and I had to keep reminding myself what was going on from previous chapters.

Third, the characters weren't exactly ones you could care about or get attached to. Sure, Sybille had her moments where you liked her, but I felt she could have been fleshed out more. Same goes for the other characters in the book. Part of this problem, though, may have been because the plot seemed a little rushed, as well.

Overall, I feel like St. Blair: Children of the Night had potential to be a fantastic dystopian story, but it fell flat for me. The only thing it really has going for it, in my honest opinion, is the beautiful cover art and the fascinating synopsis to draw people in.

However, just because I wasn't overly fond of the book doesn't mean you will feel the same. If you like dystopian novels with supernatural elements, perhaps you could give St. Blair a shot. For me, I'd rate it 2.5 stars.


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