Oh dear…where to start? When I first started this book I feel in love on the first page. I was so intrigued. It was a mystery that I wanted to solve page by page. I wasn’t in a rush, it was one of those warm glows that feels oh so very lovely that you just want to savor it bit by delightful bit! I still felt this way at 30%. If anything, I was even more smitten with this novel. I loved Sophie, the main character, despite her naivety. I loved Jag. I loved India and all of the settings….The Palace. The romance. The women’s quarters. I even loved the mother’s cruelness. Not that I liked her personally, I just liked the elements she brought into this story. The layers she brought forth were yet another mystery for me to be intrigued by and a mystery to solve….
At about 40%…..well…..I realised that all of my love was based on appearances. Oh come on now….don’t act like that….you know we’ve all done this…..don’t lie! Who hasn’t fallen in love from the first moment and imagined it to be all of these wonderful things….and you dig and you dig…and then you realise….well, hell’s bells….this isn’t as mysterious as I had hoped. This isn’t as complex as I had hoped…..sigh….
Now don’t get me wrong….this isn’t a short novel….It’s a nice 400 pages….you should be able to fit a lot into 400 pages! Right? Yet, I felt that this was just a rough draft. It was missing bits I needed. There just was too much missing. Why didn’t Sophie fight? How did she end up where she was? Why did she leave India when she didn’t really have to?
I still loved this book. I am just a bit disappointed in Alison McQueen. I mean, she had everything here before me. She dangled this beautiful setting….these star crossed lovers….this wonderful story right in front of me face! She had me salivating! I mean, I had to wipe the drool off of my face. I had to try to control me glee. I bragged to everyone I could once I reached 30%…….and then….alas…..she broke my heart. It’s like being promised a homemade cheesecake after having a sunday roast……Looking forward to it all week with promises of how lush it will be…then the weekend comes….things get hectic…..and on Sunday you’re handed an instant turkey roast meal with special offer cheesecake flavoured biscuits! Yes, it has enough flavour for you to appreciate it. Yes, you are thankful for it…..yes, it did fill you up…..however….all you can think of is just how much more wonderful it could have been…..
so yea, I’m mad at you Alison McQueen. I KNOW you can do better than this….this was a 800 page novel that you chopped down to 400…..and yes, the shell is there….and yes it’s beautiful….but damnit….I want me meaty bits…..I not only want your words to feed my body…I wanted them to feed my soul as well….
Don’t get me wrong, I loved it from the start…..and I didn’t mind the ending…..I just missed the middle….
Sigh……Maybe next time…..
Until next time….
Review Copy provided by NetGalley for an honest review
Buy it now Under the Jeweled Sky by Alison McQueen