Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review of 'The Hybrid: Antecedent' by Teresa Marie Wallace

The Hybrid: Antecedent’ is the first in a series of New Adult paranormal novels written by Teresa Marie Wallace. The author provided me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
I must begin by saying that Teresa’s writing glued me to the pages. She clearly has a way with words; they flow naturally, effortlessly, turning into a charming lullaby that will make you feel relaxed and want to read on. Until she loses patience. Then the lullaby turns into a rushed symphony you want to scramble away from, yet not quite willing to give up, as you wish to know what happens next.
As I started to read ‘The Hybrid: Antecedent,’ I was drawn into a sweet love story, that of orphaned Annabel Morgan and the gorgeous celebrity Shaw Weatherly. There is nothing extraordinary about their love, but Teresa’s writing comes to the rescue, drawing the reader in; convincing the reader that it is worth to go through the first hundred pages without significantly moving forward. Not much is happening, and you start wondering about where this is going to head. Then there comes the second half of the book, which makes you think that you landed on another planet. The paranormal action begins, slow at first, then it accelerates to the point that the last quarter of the book becomes very much like a flipbook. Not because it is exhilarating, but because it packs so much information in such a short amount of writing, you reach the end of it before you can blink. So much happens in that last quarter, that it could be a book on its own, in striking contrast with the lagging beginning.
The first half of this book is a pleasant love story, and the reader gets absorbed into it to the point that the paranormal element seems misplaced when it comes in. I understand that a foundation was needed to allow the paranormal to be built upon, but the transition between the two genres was too abrupt, crashing the charm the author had weaved into the story until then, and somehow taking away its appeal. Paranormal romance is a blend of paranormal phenomena and elements of romance. Shades of grey are permitted, like with every other genre, but to divide so strikingly a book into two separate genres is not only disconcerting to the reader, but it makes the latter element (in this instance the paranormal) stick out like a sore thumb. The difference is further enhanced by the absence of any sense of place in the second half of the book. Not because the author fails to refer to locations, far from it, but there is no elaboration whatsoever on the characters’ practical interactions with these locations that would allow us to see them as being remotely real. The author might as well place them on Mars, and I could not tell the difference. The characters become, therefore, cartoonish, bringing even more contrast between the two halves of the book.
Having said that, I do not deny that I enjoyed reading the novel. As I said before, Teresa’s writing was the most alluring element, although it was not seamless. She has a natural talent to write sweet romance, charging the story with electrifying sensuality without ever adding graphic elements to it.
As much as I am frustrated with the awkward unification of two separate genres, I think that this book is worth reading. I have no doubt that paranormal romance lovers will quickly get over this curious mélange and will want to go on to see what happens next.
Teresa’ novel can be purchased on Amazon in both hard copy and Ebook format. Click HERE to access the purchase link.

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