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The Lottery and Other Stories
Shirley Jackson
11/22/63
Stephen King
Dark Genesis - Dave Ferraro Firstly, I decided to go by the GR actual star meaning for 2 stars which is "It was ok" - this book should really get 2½ stars, if I could give ½ stars, because it kept me relatively entertained to about the 50% mark, and I'm usually quite generous with the 3 stars... But eventually, the things that bothered me about this book, really ended up almost ruining it for me, so I have to go with the lower rating...

If I had given 3 stars instead of 2, the last ½ star is for some good ideas - unusual use of well-known creatures and stories and a relatively fresh take on the paranormal YA genre.

What I liked:
The mystery of Alyssa's origins and her slow discovery of own story works really well and I found myself intrigued by why and how she had come to the different world.
I liked Alyssa herself - she was pretty kickass and clearly a heroine from the get-go, but I never found her to be too Mary-Sueish (more on that later though), and I liked that she was quite unsure of herself and seemed to consider (in most cases) things properly and not just make stupid decisions.

As such, I also liked Alyssa's companions - although after Vessa and Parker, they weren't that well-developed. The group of companions though was the starting point of why this story in the end essentially really disappointed me...
Everything is just TOO darn easy! People like Lace and Flax can do AMAZING things, but yet have never seemed to use them for anything before Alyssa came along.. And everyone is (despite constant stories of deceiving druids/horrors that were trusted, but ended up being evil) very willing to instantly accept Alyssa's goodness within 2 mins of meeting her...

The biggest problem for me is that essentially the book was WAY too short! I've read somewhere that Ferraro means for this to be the 1st book in a series/trilogy, and if that's true, I'm even more disappointed... Because that means there was no reason for the extreme rushing of the plot!
Basically, a VERY complex storyline and world inhabited by SO many different creatures and not one, not two, but MANY what should be epic battles each in their own right, ends up being dealt with within 400 pages.
Once you as the reader realise the very impressive (and as a result, depressing) speed with which our group of heroes get rid of the epic monsters, you just become indifferent really...
I mean, in the beginning I cared about the very scary Lady Blood and the other big monsters, but when I started to realise that they were just each in turn going to be disposed of within 10 pages each, they were no longer epic and the same happened to the story....

For me, this first book (if it really is the beginning of a series) should just have focused on Alyssa getting to know the world and some companions and maybe fought ONE of the big baddies and maybe gotten an inkling that something even bigger was going on...
As it happened, it was just one very swift struggle after another (I won't even call them battles), and any monster that can "just" be killed like that is REALLY not scary at all...

So, all in all, great idea, most of the parts about Alyssa discovering the new world and remembering the old one, were good and I think the potential in the story and the world was there, but for some reason, the story was instead turned into what felt like a bunch of roleplaying teenage boys sitting around a table playing AD&D and just so luckily manage to kill all the monsters and resolve all the riddles within an afternoon...

I received this book free from the author in return for an honest review - which I have given