Since releasing my debut novel, as an emerging author, I've hungered for real, honest feedback on my work. Today, fellow author and friend D. Marie Prokop has delivered in the form of a refreshingly blunt critique on my freshman effort...
"There she was: So pretty, so beautiful; her blonde hair glowing in the sunlight right along with her bright, beaming smile. It was almost a cliché, as she seemed to be running through a field, or a garden, laughing the whole time. The infectious giddiness and the graceful elegance of the whole scene was definitely a sight to behold.
It made Brandon want to puke.”
It made Brandon want to puke.”
-Excerpt from Chapter 17 of Coma, California
A story chronicling the rebellion and salvation of a young man named Brandon, Kyle D. Garrett’s first novel, Coma, California, will leave Christian readers cheering in their pews over the wondrous redemption of another lost soul, albeit a fictional one. This fictional story will remind Christian readers of real-life testimonies they have heard of in which sad, stubborn souls have found faith and forgiveness.
Things I liked—the purposeful attempt to create characters that are raw. The character of Myles brought tears to my eyes. He was beautifully drawn. I liked Brandon’s back story and the emotional connection it drew. Also, the author throws in moments of snarky wit that I enjoyed, such as the quote above. Another devise that was utilized well was giving the reader a slow reveal of the cause for Brandon’s angst by taking short jaunts into the past. The best part of the novel is how Mr. Garrett describes the plan of salvation near the end of the story. It is theologically sound and compassionate, a brief but vital scene. Salvation is presented as an irresistible invitation and offers great hope, both to the characters involved and to the reader. But then, I do love a good sermon.
Things I disliked—Brandon. I know I’m supposed to dislike him at first—he must grow as a character—but Brandon wore out my empathy in the first scene, in which he takes a nap after arguing with himself about taking a nap, and he never really wins it back. His character does develop, but that posed other problems for me. Early confessions of deep love between the two main characters set the pacing of the story off and confused me. The last aspect of the novel that was jarring was the repetitiveness in the “telling” scenes as opposed to the quite enjoyable movement in the “showing” scenes.
Writing is a marathon-style adventure and Kyle D. Garrett is off to the races with a solid first run.
D. Marie Prokop is the author of the Days of the Guardian trilogy. Set in a dystopian future, the first novel in the series, The Red String, tells the story of a small band of rebels, under the guidance of the mysterious Guardian, who helps them rescue people out from under a corrupt government system, and into a cause much bigger than themselves. In a similar vein to Divergent and The Hunger Games, D. Marie Prokop delivers a fast paced and intense story that will draw you in and keep you on the edge of your seat to the very end.
Purchase the entire trilogy and other works by D. Marie Prokop on her Amazon page. Be sure to also visit her official page by clicking the photo above.