Daniel Van Doren was once a renowned writer, until he was blinded in the car accident that killed his lover. Now, all he sees are ghosts in need of help. They follow him everywhere, and the only way to be rid of his ethereal visitors is to help them resolve their unfinished business here on earth so their spirits can find peace.
Ghostwriter Logan Riley is assigned to pen Daniel’s biography. He plans to reveal him as a fraud, but when they meet he’s struck by Danny’s quiet sincerity—and a growing attraction. Which makes sticking close to Danny to find out the truth more than a little distracting.
When they are attacked by a violent poltergeist Logan begins to believe Danny’s not just telling the truth, he’s in grave danger. A spirit has learned how to harness the energy of the living to break through the barrier between worlds to harm Danny. And Logan may be the one to blame…
You know those books that start out fine, not with a bang or a vortex that sucks you in and won’t let go, but just plain well. You put it down and finish another book, a better book, a book by an author you love, and then you go back to it hoping it’ll get better but not at all expecting to be wowed.
Sight Unseen was such a book for me.
I wasn’t expecting high literacy, nor was I expecting to find my new favourite author ever. I was simply expecting to be entertained, but even in that Sight Unseen failed me.
It started with the little things.
Great mobile phone signal in the sewers. One of my favourite TV shows mentioned in passing. Mild misogyny I’d read without batting an eye in another place and time, but on a day reading about people defending rape jokes and remembering a government mandated rape for abortion seekers in a certain part of the world, I batted an eye. Those were the things it started with.
Then it graduated to fanfic clichés. It wasn’t Edward pinching the bridge of his nose, it was Elena, Danny’s sister, but who the hell pinches the bridge his or her nose if not a character from Twilight? It’s a phrase I’ve only read in Twilight and Twilight fanfiction and even then it made me want to hurl my laptop through the window.
No, I’m not claiming this ever was a Twilight fanfiction, but that’s where my mind goes in this era of pulled to publish fanfiction.
That kind of little things that kept pulling me out of the story and making me stop. And with this start and stop and start again rhythm I started paying attention to things that probably wouldn’t have bothered me otherwise. They were all small things, not mistakes really, but things that made me think the author hadn’t quite thought things through.
Like the cane. Yes, blind people use a cane to find their way around the world, but even in their own homes where they’ve memorised the layout? Granted, Danny’s new to this blindness thing, but I got the impression that he’s pretty much a shut-in, other than the occasionally visits to the police station, nearby coffee shop and to his sisters. Though, I was under the impression his sister visited him, not the other way around. And then there was the way sounds and smells were described. They were only mentioned when it was convenient to the author and scene in the book instead of being an integral part of how Danny lives his life now.
I’d complain about the characterisations further, but that’s not really my problem. All the building blocks were there, they just weren’t utilised properly. Why not you ask? Well, because apparently according to this author, what qualifies as character and relationship development is remarks about the characters’ various states of arousal. Basically cock-commentary and that’s it.
I’m tired of reading M/M porn without heart. Or a story.
That’s the worst part. This had potential. The plot thread about ghosts and a poltergeist haunting Danny, giving him a new kind of purpose in life, and Logan wanting to expose him as a con man had potential. If we forget the misogyny angle, Sophie’s anger and the confrontation were well done.
Except for the part that killed the remaining good for me. Spoiler coming:When Sophie possesses Danny’s body, he temporarily regains his vision. This I could understand and even forgive, because it was only temporary thing–in the end Danny is just as blind as he is in the beginning of the book. What I could not forgive was what the author did with that sight. She used it to validate Logan’s confession of love. You read right. The only way Danny could possibly believe Logan was honest and telling what he truly felt was by seeing it.Highlight to see.
I can’t say more. I’ll just rage and rant if I do.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Pages: 68,000 words ~ 200 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Published: expected, July 23rd, 2012
Source: NetGalley, Publisher