Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ring Around the Moon by Anita Birt

TITLE: Ring Around the Moon
AUTHOR: Anita Birt
PUBLISHER: Cerridwen Press
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 92k)
GENRE: Contemporary time travel romance
COST: $6.49

Beth Ormond was just looking for peace and quiet to gather her thoughts and plan for the future. A month in Cornwall seemed like the perfect opportunity. Until a man staggers out of the forest the night she arrives, calling her another woman’s name and claiming she’s his wife. Now Beth has to figure out who exactly Alan Tremaine is, and what that means for her and her unborn child…

The premise of this sounded incredibly promising. Most time travel stories I read have the heroine moving back in time. I think it appeals to the urge to live in a different era without losing the effects of modern sensibilities. This story suggested it was about a man being pulled to the present, and while it has been done before, it’s not nearly as common. I was excited about this story when I started. That excitement, unfortunately, didn’t last.

The headhopping started almost right away. It didn’t happen in big long sections. It occurred in very short ones, sometimes paragraph to paragraph. I would do anything for e-pubs to either have longer excerpts so I don’t get surprised by this, or some sort of label on their stories to show when it happens. Because honestly, there are some of us who absolutely hate it. Very, very few people can pull it off. I’ll tolerate it if a story is good enough, but really, I wish I didn’t have to.

But I couldn’t even tolerate it in this one. Before I get much of a chance to know either one of the main characters, Beth is acting like an idiot, overreacting at the drop of a hat, then flipflopping from tears to I must have you in the next breath, then going back to tears. She does that throughout the book. I can't remember the last time I read a heroine who seesawed so dramatically. Her logic completely escapes me, and I don’t think I can even blame it on the hormones of her pregnancy. Her mood swings make no sense except to add artificial drama. Alan doesn’t fare much better. His personality seems a little more stable, but he’s so boring that I just can’t be bothered to care.

With such huge obstacles for me to overcome, the story never really has a chance, but it’s certainly not helped by the fact that any conflict that gets introduced for these two gets resolved or dismissed within just a couple pages. The only one that sticks around for longer than that doesn’t even get resolved. The story ends with just the thought that, “Well, they’re together and they want it to work so let’s just keep our fingers crossed, okay?” And it’s not even a little conflict. It’s big. Enormous. And it’s still looming there when it says, “The End.” Maybe if I was a little more invested in the characters or romance, it might not bother me so much. But I wasn’t, so it did.


4/10 – Constant headhopping, melodramatic dialogue, histrionic behavior…it drives a reader to skim.


3/10 – Boring and flat.


3/10 – Histrionic and completely unbelievable.

Entertainment value

2/10 – Between being bored by the characters, annoyed at all the constant flipflopping, and disbelieving of how everything just fell into place for these two, it’s lucky I finished it at all.

World building

5/10 – It’s all tell not show with this. I never felt a sense of history or place.



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