“As the heat of Hell swirled inside and outside of her, she had to wonder – Could she be redeemed?” – Brynna; Highborn
Highborn; Yvonne Navarro, 2010
So . . . I’d just finished speed reading the last of Jeaniene Frost’s ‘Cat & Bones’ series and was cruising my 3MCloud Library (love it), looking for new authors to test read, when I came across ‘Highborn’, by Yvonne Navarro. Now we all know there are two things I look for in a new book; art work (bad cover art – I won’t even open up the book unless I already know the author) and a story hook within the first two paragraphs. I might be able to get around the bad cover art, but if they haven’t set the story hook by the end of page one, I’m a gonner.
Anyway, I find this new author whose cover art is so-so and start to move on to the next book ad, when I see this blurb; ‘A twisted urban paranormal noir . . . ‘ just below her name.
Okay, they had me at ‘twisted’.
I can’t say I was hooked by the end of page one. Heck,I wasn’t even hooked by page ten. But I did find the character and story (bad angel seeking redemption) interesting enough, that it pulled me onto the next page and the next and . . . until finally I found myself turning them without effort.
So what is it about ‘Highborn’ that kept me going, even after admitting I won’t read something that hasn’t set its fictional claws in me by page two? The main heroine, Brynna. Despite the authors failure to grab my immediate attention with the story, she did manage to create an interesting enough character, quickly enough, to make me wiling to invest another twenty minutes of my time. Fortunately for both of us,it paid off, since I read the remainder of the book in one sitting.
More and more, as both a reader and fledgling author, I’m finding that the four most important ingredients for a great book are: fast hook, interesting characters, better than average plot and good beat/pace. Now, it might just be my short attention span, but if a book has at least three of those four things going for it, I don’t see how the story can go wrong. Heck, I’ve enjoyed poorly written books, simply because the ingredients for greatness was there. I just had to get over my need for perfection to see it.
And that in a nut shell is what I found with this book; a slow starter with all the ingredients needed for greatness. It just took Navarro a little while to get there.
On my reader’s scale of 1-5 stars, I’m giving ‘Highborn’ a 2.5 for taking a little too long for lift off and 3.5 for recovery. Looking forward to the second book in the Dark Redemption Series, ‘Concrete Savior’.