Friday, December 23, 2011

Book review: When the Walls Fell by Monique Martin

When the Walls FellWhen the Walls Fell by Monique Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was really looking forward to this sequel to Out of Time. OoT was one of my favorite reads this year. I was quite taken with Elizabeth and Simon and their time-traveling adventures in the first book. I liked that OoT had a paranormal (albeit a little silly)twist to the romance and adventure, and I expected the same in When the Walls Fell.

WtWF is romantic-- but I felt that romance didn't really progress from the first book. The declaration of love was in Out; in When... we have an abundance of loving reaffirmations, but that's about it-- oh, and a couple of fights between Simon and Elizabeth. It looks like theirs is going to be one of those long drawn-out affairs.

I loved the 1906 pre-San Francisco earthquake setting of this book. Martin does an excellent job of transporting the reader to the past, and I learned things about historic San Francisco that I had never picked up in 25+ years of living in the SF Bay Area.

We are treated to a lot of new characters in When...and these were delightful additions to the series-- I just hope we will see more of Teddy, Lillian and Gerald, especially since they are in on time traveling secret.

I felt there were a few things missing from When..., though. There's a hint of the paranormal, but not enough for me! The paranormal element in the first book lifted it from the usual romance book.  Other than the time travel, which is the backbone of the story, there isn't as much paranormality in When....

More glaringly, what was missing was proofreading! There were so many errors that it was quite distracting, and since the errors became more numerous about halfway through the book, I was wondering if there had been a midway rush to finish and publish. I probably would have rated When the Walls Fell much higher than 3 stars had more attention been paid to editing.

In spite of my disappointment with When the Walls Fell (ugh, yeah, that title doesn't do much for me, either), I do think Monique Martin is a gifted wordsmith. I am committed to finishing out the series, but I do hope the next novel has a bit more going for it-- more action, more background on the physics behind the time-traveling, more followup on some of the past characters and at least an engagement between Simon and Elizabeth! Effective proofreading would be icing on that sequel-cake.

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