Wow. Just wow. Forgive me; I have to take a minute here. Just…….Wow…I have to rant for a sec. Bear with me.

It baffles me how a book this poorly written, derivative, unimaginative, and just plain bad could have sold so many copies. So, so, so many copies. It simply defies understanding to me. Here I am trying to be an author myself, slaving away at my own fantasy novel while trying to make the characters deep, compelling, unique individuals, painstakingly handcrafting a plot that’s (hopefully) original and fresh when apparently all I have to do is take a generic hero’s quest storyline (ooh, that’d make a good title, derrrr), populate it with cardboard cutout tropes with painted-on personalities, and have them run around doing generic fantasy crap in a completely and utterly reactionary manner. Then, apparently, I could just sit back and wait for the dough to roll in.

And don’t give me that “but it’s written for kids” argument I’ve seen so many times in the comments here. It’s bad even for a children’s book. And there’s some pretty graphic violence here, not to mention a very cliche, negatively presented homosexual relationship, which takes some maturity to wrap your head around and understand properly. This is not a book for kids. Maybe young adults and tweens. But if you put it in the YA category, you’re putting it in with such books as The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Book Thief, among others. While it may not be fair to compare them to a self-published author, you can indeed compare their target audience. Therefore, you can’t tell me this was meant for children…I mean I can see how they’d be the only ones to actually think it’s good, but I don’t think it was meant for them.

By the way “trying” is the key word up there. I know firsthand that writing is really hard. Nobody is debating that.

The only reason I mention this is that I have something against a writer who is ok with her books containing grievous spelling and grammatical errors in her work at the time of publication. I have a problem with people paying money for something so frighteningly bad when there are other books and authors out there that deserve the money so much more.

If it were simply a first draft (because that’s basically what it is), I wouldn’t blame Ms. Rice. I wouldn’t consider it an affront to fiction and fantasy. I would probably pat her on the head and say “Wow, Morgan, you’ve got a lot of potential here. It just needs to cook some more. Go back and write a few more drafts.” But no, this is the finished version. This is what she released. Apparently it was even WORSE before she had it “edited” recently. It’s the equivalent of a game developer releasing a game while it’s still a beta version before releasing a patch to fix it AFTER people have paid good money for it. It’s simply inexcusable.

Ok, rant over. Let’s dive in to see exactly why this story is an unfinished, premature pile of clichés and cash-in.