Book Review – Worlds Collide by Shannon McRoberts

Title: Worlds Collide: a crossover novella
Author: Shannon McRoberts
Written: 2010
Published: 2012
Format: Print* – please note, my review copy was an uncorrected print proof and the novella is currently only available for purchase as an eBook; print books are expected to be released soon

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Words Collide is a short novella.  It’s listed at 48 pages on Amazon (my proof is 40 pages), but as I look at the formatting, I’m actually questioning if this one isn’t more of a novelette [note: novelette 7500-15k, novella 15k-40k].

In this novella, novelette, story, a group called the N’Loron is about to break into Athene’s world, and she has to chose between this group of creatures and her own life.

So, I’ll admit that when I started reading, the book did exactly what I don’t want to see in fantasy – big words for no reason other than big words, somebody immediately doing what they’re not supposed to be doing, Gods used in funny ways, etc – and all in the first page.  But the book flows well enough, so I kept reading.

We follow a line of chaos pretty much the whole story, and there’s a lot of telling rather than showing, which I think weakens the whole story line.  For instance, the first paragraph says that the character, Nike, enters a place she shouldn’t have been after searching for a while.  Show us the searching.  Give us a paragraph of walking for a long time (or flying, Nike has wings after all), sweat, whatever.

Another issue I had was that there are a lot of “fantasy-ish” names – you know, stuff that looks made up.  A’tiasul, N’Loron, etc.  And a lot of names that are similar.  Nike/Nikeda.  I don’t know about you, but when I read names like that, I sort of stop comprehending who is who and have to slow down and pay more attention, meaning I don’t get as lost in the story as I would like to.  (Also, several are repetitively used – there’s a paragraph near the end, for instance, where every sentence uses N’Loren in it at least once.)

Also, the God(s) used… are sort of used in name only.  Athina, for example, is the daughter of Zeus, not the granddaughter of him.  Nike is not a dark anything.  But they are in this book.  So if you’re really into mythologies, be aware of that going in.

In the end, overlook the theft of names to make characters, and give yourself a few pages to get into the book.  It’s entertaining enough, and at the short length, it’s good for when you don’t want a novel.  Like I said, by my estimation, this is more a novelette than a novella, so you shouldn’t have to spend too much time to get through it.

The story’s there, so I’ll give this one a three.  Pick it up if you want something shorter, but if you’re really looking for a novel, don’t feel guilty skipping it.

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I don’t know why this is required, but here it is:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book in conjunction with  First Rule Publicity and the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shannon McRoberts (@obsidianpoet)
    Dec 31, 2012 @ 17:04:29

    Thank you so much for your honest review of my work. You are correct that I use characters found in Greek, Norse, and Celtic mythologies–but they are not always the traditional sense of the characters. I often include some element that someone who is familiar with mythology may recognize, but that is usually about all I include. I then incorporate them with my characters that I have created for my series such as the main character Athine and the now continuing nemesis Nikeda. That really is a theme that carries through my entire series; so, if you are looking for the traditional Greek take on gods and goddesses you will not find it in my works.

    You are also correct that this has a lot of fantasy names as do all of my works in the Daughter of Ares Chronicles. I am working on a companion site (although very slowly) that would serve to help anyone that may pick up any of the books in the series and understand who is who. I know for myself when I was reading LOTRs my version had an index in the back of the characters and it was very much needed because many of the names were similar sounding which can be confusing. I did include my own index in the first three stories with pronunciation, but I did not for this installment and instead am switching to the website version that I hope would be more beneficial and easier to update/easier to access.

    I classified this as a novella because it was so close to 15K words and because before I read your review I was not able to find such a nice distinction between novella and novellette. Worlds Collide falls short of the mark you have indicated by about 200 words. I would, personally though, not suggest new readers start with this story as it is more of a bridge between The Blood Sisters and my new WIP Cursed Bloods, but you can enjoy the story as a stand alone if desired.

    I do hope to have paper versions of all my works out sometime in 2013.

    Again thank you for this insightful review! I really appreciate it when people take the time to comment on my works.

    Reply

    • Mandi M. Lynch, author
      Jan 02, 2013 @ 17:50:49

      Thanks for the response. I wish more authors gave responses like this to our reviews!

      Most people aren’t familiar with the term novelette, so I wouldn’t be too concerned with that; I just wanted to point that out to my readers. I know when I hear ‘novella’ that I expect something that’s about half a novel. 🙂

      The website sounds like a great idea, but I’d still include the list in the print book – most of us don’t read with our computers handy.

      Reply

      • Shannon McRoberts
        Jan 02, 2013 @ 18:07:20

        I will definitely keep the lists in the print version and add them to books that may not have them. Thank you for all your guidance!

      • Mandi M. Lynch, author
        Jan 02, 2013 @ 19:08:19

        You’re welcome! And you have my email address, so if you ever want to fire questions off, you know how to find me.

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