Reinoehl, Jason and Jennifer Reinoehl. The Corruption: Age of the Watchers (The Lost Histories of Eden, #1). A YA Book Review.

I was given an e-book copy of this fantasy in exchange for a fair review. It took a long time for me to read as I had to keep forcing myself back to it. This is unfortunate, because the writers spent enormous effort planning the back story for this series. I would recommend that future books be given to an editor for feedback on pacing, plotting, and characterization before publishing.

The Corruption started with a detailed, expansive and largely unnecessary prologue told in the first person by a chatty narrator. Once into the story, this completely disappeared. Basically the plot is this. Wicked angels come to earth and try to rule the humans. They bribe them with the gift of knowledge and take human women as sexual toys and breeders. Not all cities agree to be part of this coalition. I loved the premise. I really wanted to get into the heads of the main characters and feel their turmoil and fear.

However, the dialogue is stiff, wordy, artificial, and, at times, even pompous. Everyone speaks the same way. There is an overuse of descriptive dialogue tags. 90% should be substituted with the word said. Slowing down the text even further, adverbs and extraneous explanation often accompany the excessive dialogue tags. For example: “Don’t worry, I will,” Asbel smugly concluded. “Jeqon, what a surprise to see you here,” the man spoke in a kind voice that was forceful enough to be demanding.

Characters often sound like they feel compelled to use five words when one will do: “As to this debate, my mind is already decided. Now, excuse me as I entertain myself while you finish with your insignificant pretensions. I should be ready to discuss the more important details when you finish. And if Michael does appear before you conclude, I shall be satisfied that I have spent my time enjoying myself instead of trying to be more pious than the rest of you.” The spheres took orbit over his knee and he locked glared with Arataqoph. (error in text – quite a few in fact.) The characters had potential but with similar dialogue and a distant, report-like style of writing, the reader has difficulty connecting or caring about any of them.

The text drags because the authors often use passive writing. For example, in the above paragraph it could have read: the spheres orbited over his knee. Unnecessary detail that does nothing to further the plot also weighs down the novel. For example: Once the light of one door met with the light of the other, the doors began to open slowly and majestically. Jeqon waited until the door stood completely open before entering into Shemihazah’s chambers.

The rebellious angels’ flights down from heaven was interesting. The plot, unfortunately, seems to jump here and there and it was often difficult to know who was supposed to be the reader’s focus. The plot read like a videogame with huge chunks of emotionless battles. It seemed that every chapter introduced a new creature of terror.

The end was plausible, if sudden, but then the authors tagged on a bewildering little cliffhanger to get the reader to buy the next book. I cannot, in all honesty, recommend this.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages