Saturday, December 29, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥: Nette by Barbara Rayne

Barbara Rayne

Page Count: 158
Release Date: 21 March 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

In a world where gender was distinguished by the eye color, blue for female and brown for male, she had the misfortune of being born as brown eyed girl. Being ugly and a freak to everyone was the least of her troubles. Immortal and destined to be a queen, her mere existence was a threat to the king. After everyone she loved was brutally murdered, she had no choice but to pursue the path she was destined. In a world that made it clear there was no place in it for her, immortal Nette will have to make room even if it means killing them all.


Nette, whose biological makeup defies every rule of the norm, directly experienced the harshness of law and society since the day she was born. Her only crime is existing.

It isn't just her brown eyes that set her apart, however. She was born with great power, as a prophet stated, the power of immortality, whose purpose is to overrule the unjust King Garlid. Because of her differences, no one will accept her. And this, we readers learn, takes a turn for the worst on not only her self-esteem, but also on her morality. Innocent, adventurous Nette goes through hell and high water and soon transforms into a merciless, indestructible Queen.

The journey Nette goes on in order to fulfill her prophecy takes place in an ambitious fantastical world; the adventure is the perfect dangerous blend of suspense, betrayal, and companionship. I loved the plot Rayne creates, but the writing, not so much. The simple, first-person style reads almost in a formal fashion, except it uses contemporary diction. I wouldn't have minded the informal language, considering Nette takes place in the future, but I would have liked the style to match. There is absolutely no showing; the language is all telling—from Nette's irritatingly unworldly and unskilled point of view, at that. This stylistic flaw, along with the countless grammatical mistakes and typographical errors, made Nette a difficult read; I really had to work to comprehend it.

I do like the characters Rayne creates. King Raul, the love interest, in particular, was a pleasant character, though he isn't particularly deep. I wish the author would have elaborated upon the characters better. The good characters are likable and the bad characters dislikable, but that's about as far as characterization goes. Nothing from Nette will be haunting me tomorrow.

The theme of societal brutality and the effect it has on human compassion is especially strong, but again, I wish it had been analyzed more thoughtfully. The overall structure and flow of this book are kind of a mess, but I can tell it has its high points. Albeit, they're rather cloaked by the thick, awkward dialogue and impenetrable narration, but I promise they're there. With a bit of cleaning up, Nette might have potential to be a hit among dystopian thriller aficionados.


Interesting dystopian premise // Nice love story // Well-depicted characters; protagonists are perfectly lovable while antagonists are detestable // Doesn't lack action and gore // Feelings of frustration and injustice are portrayed well


Narration is off-key: passive and shows rather than tells // Tone is unfeeling and unmoving // Needs an editor badly // Characters are not explored deeply; I felt detached from them // Dialogue too stilted and actions too fantastical; I couldn't imagine any of this playing out in front of me


"You lost your memory, so you don't know I can kill you with a single move, throw you on the floor..."
"I choose the second option."


I didn't hate Nette, but I certainly didn't enjoy reading it either. The dystopian society Rayne immerses readers in is fascinating, and the characterization accurate, but stylistically, this one is terribly unfulfilling. There were aspects I really liked, such as the naturally flowing plot, but can't say I recommend it.

5 hearts: Doesn't particularly light any of my fires; I feel indifferent about this book. ♥♥♥♥♥