1 out of 4 stars
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Blaine’s Legacy by Scotti Jones is a fantasy novel about a sixteen year-old-boy with a laundry list of supernatural abilities. From super-healing powers and telekinesis, to spell casting and empathy, Blaine has it all; not to mention he’s an all-star athlete as well. The death of Blaine’s boyfriend, Brent, has left him down and depressed as of late, but Blaine doesn’t have time to mourn because he is being hunted by the evil, ghost-like being, Shadeaux, who has pursued Blaine his entire life.
To begin, it is evident when reading Blaine’s Legacy that the work is not ready for publication. The formatting is inconsistent throughout the narrative: only some paragraphs are indented, random line breaks appear continuously, and punctuation errors are abundant. Even more irksome is the lack of scene breaks; paragraphs jump from one set of characters and events to another with no indication of the change in setting. Lastly, many of the characters’ names are incredibly similar, making the story difficult to follow. For example, Blaine, Blake and Brent are all important characters, as are Jamie and Jimmy and Keldar and Kalvyn.
The writing itself suffers from a lack of quality as well. Simply put, the writing isn’t engaging. The narrative relies heavily on telling instead of showing. Throughout the story, the plot ceases to move forward as the narrative shifts from story progression to info-dumps; this even occurs in the first few pages where, instead of seeing how Blaine’s powers work, we are told via a long-winded exposition what Blaine’s powers are, how he got them, and who taught him to use them.
On top of the boring writing, there is a serious deficiency in the novel’s focus. Plot devices include monsters from other dimensions, Greek gods, wormholes, giant spiders, magi, shaman, teleportation, astral projection, a council of elders, and time travel, to name a few. Plus, Blaine and his friends are avid pot-heads who once used Blaine’s powers to grow magic pot plants and subsequently run the cartel out of town because they couldn't compete with Blaine and company's low prices. The haphazard incorporation of stoner stereotypes with what seems like every fantasy element known to the genre was overwhelming.
The story had some positive traits, but the majority of those traits were all borrowed from other works. There is the bad guy that needs to take over a body because he only exists in an incorporeal form (Voldemort), and the teenage hero who is hunted by the bad guy because the hero is the reason for the bad guy’s current misfortune (Harry Potter). Blaine is even given an invisibility cloak and an amazing suit of armor made from a metal described very similarly to Mithril. The lack of creativity in the plotting began to feel exasperating and worthy of many an eye-roll.
Regrettably, this novel is still in draft form; the formatting issues, expository writing style, blatant reproduction of ideas, and remarkable lack of focus lead me to give Blaine’s Legacy 1 out of 4 stars. In its current state, I cannot recommend this book.
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