Review: Diaries of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista

Title: Diaries of an Urban Panther

Author: Amanda Arista

Published: Avon Impulse July 2011 {ARC courtesy HarperCollins}

Synopsis: Violet Jordan Rule #1 of being a superhero: No tights. Dear Diary, By now you know I’m hardly a normal girl. Last night I woke up naked in an alley after fighting off some werewolves. All in a day’s work, I guess. I thought I was dealing pretty well with the whole werepanther thing: the training, the apocalyptic prophecies. And the hot guy following me around, protecting me at every turn, is definitely a bonus. I’m even starting to become accustomed to the bloodshed and the violence—and that’s what scares me. What will tomorrow bring…

Status: Read from June 28 to 30, 2011

My Thoughts:

*Please Note: It is important to know this review applies only to the uncorrected proof provided to me by the publisher and may have no reflection on the final product*

I’ve been reluctant to write a review for this book because I would like to give the author and publisher the benefit of the doubt. Diaries of an Urban Panther was provided to me as an uncorrected proof in e-format from the publisher. There is always a clear warning in these editions that as an uncorrected proof, things are subject to change, however usually books I have read that have been described as such are as close to the final text as expected. Unfortunately in this instance, the book read as if a first draft submission, and it really affected by ability to connect with it.

I quite liked the general premise, panther shapeshifter’s are something a bit different and the characters are likeable. Violet Jordan discovers her destiny when she is attacked by a monster in the alleyway beside her house. Violet is part of a prophecy that identifies her as the Guardian of the Veil, and . Supported by her watcher, the attractive yet brooding, ‘Stalker boy’ and an elder,Iris, her task is to stop a demon from crossing over at the behest of a corrupt leader, Haverty and save her best friend’s life. All the potential is there, I liked Violet’s attitude and Chaz is appealing as the romantic interest, there is action, romance, danger and mystery but…

It wasn’t just the frequent spelling, word usage, grammar and punctuation errors, that are really only minor irritants though still in numbers I would not expect. My complaints are more about the structure of sentences and scenes. Repetition is a real problem, not only of one particular word through the whole novel – ‘chilled’ and it’s variations are overused, but also within one or two sentences one word could be repeated three or four times unnecessarily. An example would be this sentence verbatim from the text- ‘A disbelieving laugh choked out. I was caught somewhere between disbelief and delirium. “You knew. The whole time, didn’t you,” I asked disbelievingly.’ – this type of sentence occurs regularly  throughout, and is something I would expect an editor to note and rewrite almost immediately. I also noticed some small inconsistencies in action and character related to the poor sentence structure, a lead in sentence to the action, and then a paraphrased sentence to describe the actual action. This was easily my biggest issue with the book but there were also some things that made no sense to me, one of those being I could not figure out why Violet so often referred to her self inexplicably as ‘little’, the other, that the reference to ‘diaries’ in the title has no relevance to the story at all.

Diaries of an Urban Panther has a solid storyline and the potential to be an interesting series. I want to add I really struggled with the decision to publish this review, however part of the role of an advance reviewer is, I think, to alert to potential issues that a reader feels strongly about. So here is my dilemma – I can see the potential in the storyline but I was completely distracted by what I perceived to be a glaring lack of editing, from my perspective as an experienced reader. I’m willing to believe that perhaps the wrong file was distributed, or that before it is released it will be more thoroughly assessed, and the final novel will have none of the problems that I believe are in evidence in this uncorrected proof, hence the disclaimer at the beginning of this review. I am also willing to accept that it is only I who feels this way and others will love it, I couldn’t find any other reviews online to compare my thoughts with so I encourage you to take note of other opinions of the final published edition when they are available.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mandi
    Jul 04, 2011 @ 23:26:28

    I didn’t like the storyline in this book. The heroine got on my nerves and the romance never seemed believable. Definitely disappointed in this one.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Review: Diaries of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista | Smexy Books

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