Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey

Plot Sketch: Girl is born and mother dies.  Father heads back to court, never seeing new daughter.  New daughter to be raised in country by nursemaid.  Father comes back and drops off baby boy saying he is supposed to never leave the father's lands.  Nursemaid raises them together as equals.  Father remarries, brings new wife and her daughters to live at the stone house by the sea, fulfilling daughters wish, and you probably can guess the rest of the story... except that the steps are not mean to the girl...

Verdict:  At times, I found the prose slow-moving and less melodious than the author thought it was.  When it finally started moving, half-way through the book, it was interesting, but I still stumbled over the plot holes and even biffed it a couple of times, feeling lost wondering where elements of the story came from.  They seemed to arise out of convenience rather than preparation, and that is never a good thing to me, especially with a retelling.  I liked the twisty take on Cinderella, but think that it would be more suited if it had been in another time period or perhaps some other country, to make the retelling more complete.  It still felt like while reading Cendrillon's story, I was reading Cinderella's story and I didn't like that.  Plus, I thought it needed four more chapters to resolve all of the conflict that it started and didn't finish.  We know there's no sequel, so it would have been nice to have resolution.  Like I said, I liked the concept, but would have liked to have seen it better played out.  The writing was adequate, and for some, would be considered wonderful, but for a 190-ish pager, I thought it dillydallied around too much.  The End.  Wah.

Location: I think... rural France mostly in a stone house near the sea.
Favorite Character: Raoul.  He was the only one that actually made sense to me, even though I saw his plot line from the moment he was mentioned.
Would Change: organization of the story mostly.  and lack of resolution.
Favorite Line: I don't have one.
Good for Monster? Perhaps. He does enjoy a bit of fantasy and intrigue, and the writing style is definitely up his alley.
People Who Will Like: Love At First Sight junkies, the wistful girl over yonder who yearns to be a princess, the woman cooped up with her cats all day (oh wait, that's me, nevermind), and Cinderella herself, I'd assume.
People Who Won't Like: picky readers like me, Robert E. Lee, Charlamagne, and most definitely Napoleon.
Chapters: 19
Author's Website: does not appear to be one, but here's the very lean publisher's profile:  http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Cameron-Dokey/1332941