Author : Heather R. Lorenz
Now, this is one of those books that is very hard to review, because it wasn’t garment rendingly awful, but nor was it ground shakingly good.
A Path Toward Home is a fantasy for Middle Grade readers, about a young woman who gets catapulted by her garden swing into a different world. I thought the outset was quite cute.
I’ll start on a positive note and say I was reasonably impressed with Constance, our protagonist, a real effort has gone into making her well-rounded, so for all her positive qualities she has a bit of a short temper and a bad habit of playing dilly-day-dream. Constance also managed to side step a horrible cliché that’s usually found in fantasy romance heroines; she is not a weapons expert, nor does she try to make herself one, she is a young girl from our world and she has different qualities that she puts to good use, no one thinks less of her for not being able to use a sword and they appreciate what she does bring to the traveling party she ends up a part of.
Another thing I really liked was the effort the author put into the romance between Constance and our hero, Prince Drinian. They are given plenty of time together, and they challenged each other throughout the course of the book, so when they said they loved each other I actually felt like they could.
However, this does lead me to my biggest negative, their (and everyone else’s) dialogue, was just badly done. It was a shame because the rest of the authors writing is fine, it’s just the dialogue that’s awful. People constantly stating the obvious, or describing things that the rest of their party can see, everyone talks like they’re part of a pre-school nativity. I found the apparent need for a descriptive word for each and every one of our character’s sentences endlessly annoying, we had people whispering dramatically in perfectly normal conversations.
The next thing I’m going to mention is just a personal preference and nothing to do with the quality of writing, but the evident evangelism was a bit too much for me to stomach. This may not be advertised as such but it is religious fiction. Religion cropped up a few times near the opening, but it was fine because Constance simply reflected on God as a comfort, remembering him when she’s at her lowest and reflecting on him, knowing he’ll look after her. While I’m not religious myself it didn’t matter, as Constance’s religion was not presented as a huge part of her, and she was, first and foremost, a resourceful and brave woman. However, near the end it was more like being buried under an avalanche of bibles, with God and prayer being brought up multiple times a chapter, I lost all empathy for what was happening because characters would proclaim they had found the solution in prayer with no more thought on the matter, and I’d be sitting there going; ‘Well at least I don’t have to sit here and listen to the characters explain their motivations and feelings in clunky dialogue; being told what to do really speeds things along.’
So I’ve talked in a bit more depth about some areas of the book, but ultimately all you need to know is that I rented the book at the beginning of December started it then, and then put it down until the dead line was looming over my head. I enjoyed some parts of it but I won’t be reading the second book.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.