Official Review: Synth: Severed - The Synth Series Book 1

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Official Review: Synth: Severed - The Synth Series Book 1

Post by bluemel4 » 27 Jan 2016, 18:09

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Synth: Severed - The Synth Series Book 1" by Z.Labuschagne & LM Du Preez.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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How far would you go to become successful or famous? Would you be willing to hurt your best friend? Inflict pain that leaves physical scars on yourself? Could you lie to yourself and everyone around you?

These are the central issues that the two main protagonists, Poppy and Mila, face in book one of The Synth Series: Severed by L.M. Du Preez and Z. Labuschagne. The book is a seamless collaboration by Du Preez and Labuschagne. The authors split the work of writing by character, with Du Preez writing for Poppy and Labuschagne writing for Mila. The result is a fast paced and gripping read with each character getting their own alternating chapter. The authors do an impressive job of making each part of the book maintain a consistent tone. The book fits into the young adult genre.

Poppy, a regular at club Synth, has low self-esteem and her heart broken by the same man countless times. She is ruled by her emotions and jumps at the opportunity to join Loch, the heartbreaker and lead singer in the clubs band, in a ritual to obtain success. There is only one catch, they need four people to make it work. Poppy automatically thinks of her fiercely competitive best friend, Mila, who is “cautious and meticulous” in her decisions and used to being Poppy’s voice of reason. When Mila takes the summer off from ballet to spend time with her increasingly distant best friend Poppy, she thinks the trip is only about reconnecting. Instead of a girl’s vacation, Mila is lead into the strange world of Synth and forced to break out of her comfort zone.

What makes this novel so successful is how different the main characters are from each other and yet they are both completely relatable. The character development happens organically and each girl evokes empathy. Both characters are guilty of using justifications to explain their bad choices, however, this does not take away from their likeability.

Du Preez and Labuschagne have a wonderful command of imagery when explain emotions. The settings and secret world of Synth are realistic and interesting. The carefully crafted emotional state of Poppy and Mila help build the mystery and suspense, as the two girls have very different experiences regarding the secret ritual. Written in first person, the dialogue feels authentic and does a nice job keeping the book timeless. This is as much a psychological thriller as it is a mystery; ensuring that the reader is invested in this character driven story.

One criticism is that Poppy’s dialogue has an emotion at the end of every line. It makes reading cumbersome and takes longer than necessary to read through. For example, “I sincerely ask” or “I confidently confess.” The writing would be smoother if the emotion was allowed to be intuitively gleaned from the tone of the conversation rather than spoon fed.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The distinct characters and cohesive writing is well done and engaging. The mystery and thrill ride kept my interest and made this book difficult to put down. The descriptive style and realistic character development made this book very enjoyable. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy character driven stories, college coming of age tales, or are looking for something that is an exciting read and does not have a lot of curse words or descriptive sex scenes.

******
Synth: Severed - The Synth Series Book 1
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Post by gali » 28 Jan 2016, 05:09

I am glad you enjoyed the book. Thank you for the lovely review. :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by bluemel4 » 28 Jan 2016, 08:44

Thanks! @gali
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Post by chytach18- » 28 Jan 2016, 09:08

Very interesting review, bluemel. I like your observations on the "spoon fed" emotions.
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Post by bookowlie » 28 Jan 2016, 09:11

Well-written, insightful review! I loved the opening paragraph. It's interesting that the authors split the writing by character. I have never seen that before in a book, but I'm sure it gave a more distinct flavor to the main characters.
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Post by bluemel4 » 28 Jan 2016, 09:48

chytach18- wrote:Very interesting review, bluemel. I like your observations on the "spoon fed" emotions.
Thank you! @chytach18-

-- Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:49 am --
bookowlie wrote:Well-written, insightful review! I loved the opening paragraph. It's interesting that the authors split the writing by character. I have never seen that before in a book, but I'm sure it gave a more distinct flavor to the main characters.
Thank you! @bookowlie It really was interesting and well done.
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Post by anonanemone » 28 Jan 2016, 12:07

It seems very unusual, but innovative, to split the writing up that way. The book sounds pretty mysterious too. I can't tell whether this secret ritual involves drugs, the occult, or something totally different. Great job on the review, bluemel! Congratulations also to the authors for such an innovative, highly rated book!
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Post by DaintyFlower7 » 28 Jan 2016, 12:13

bookowlie wrote:Well-written, insightful review! I loved the opening paragraph. It's interesting that the authors split the writing by character. I have never seen that before in a book, but I'm sure it gave a more distinct flavor to the main characters.
I was really intrigued by that also. So many collaborative works fall short for me when two authors try to share the writing for one main character. I'm going to check out this book just to experience this very unique approach to team writing.
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Post by Levi » 28 Jan 2016, 13:10

I love the idea of two different writers taking on different characters. An exemplary review as always, Mel, and because of that and the unique nature, I will definitely add this to my list!!
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Post by bluemel4 » 28 Jan 2016, 16:40

anonanemone wrote:It seems very unusual, but innovative, to split the writing up that way. The book sounds pretty mysterious too. I can't tell whether this secret ritual involves drugs, the occult, or something totally different. Great job on the review, bluemel! Congratulations also to the authors for such an innovative, highly rated book!
@anonanemone The unusual way the book was split up by character is what initially made me want to read the book. The ritual is a secret even to the characters.

-- Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:41 pm --
DaintyFlower7 wrote:
bookowlie wrote:Well-written, insightful review! I loved the opening paragraph. It's interesting that the authors split the writing by character. I have never seen that before in a book, but I'm sure it gave a more distinct flavor to the main characters.
I was really intrigued by that also. So many collaborative works fall short for me when two authors try to share the writing for one main character. I'm going to check out this book just to experience this very unique approach to team writing.
@DaintyFlower7 I can't wait to hear what you think of this book. :D

-- Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:42 pm --
Levi wrote:I love the idea of two different writers taking on different characters. An exemplary review as always, Mel, and because of that and the unique nature, I will definitely add this to my list!!
Thank you! @Levi I am excited you are adding this one to your list!
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Post by LZ-Synth » 29 Jan 2016, 01:08

We Would like to say thank you for taking the time to read and review our novel - we are extremely happy with the result of the review. :D Definitely looking forward to more comments from readers. :mrgreen:

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Post by Cee-Jay Aurinko » 29 Jan 2016, 05:03

Sounds like you really enjoyed this read bluemel4. Great review!
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Post by bluemel4 » 29 Jan 2016, 11:04

LZ-Synth wrote:We Would like to say thank you for taking the time to read and review our novel - we are extremely happy with the result of the review. :D Definitely looking forward to more comments from readers. :mrgreen:
@LZ-Synth you both did an excellent job writing this book. The editing was well done and I am still shocked that two authors wrote this book. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

-- Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:05 am --
Cee-Jay Aurinko wrote:Sounds like you really enjoyed this read bluemel4. Great review!
I really did! @Cee-Jay Aurinko

Thank you for your kind words.
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Post by Ginny121 » 29 Jan 2016, 18:38

Nice idea that it's been written by 2 authors, makes it more interesting that each character is written by a different person. I'm waiting to find out more on the story line. I think it flows very well, and I'm waiting patiently for the 2nd book. :techie-studyingbrown:

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Post by H0LD0Nthere » 30 Jan 2016, 21:42

Wow. This sounds really good. Thank you for the review.
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