I received a free eBook copy of Mystery Mountain Four by Marie Grace to review for BookLook Blogger.
Marie Grace wows readers with the fourth novel in her Mystery Mountain series. In the small town of Raincroft, the bonds of love and family are stronger than all outside or dangerous influences and adventures while romance blossoms between two unlikely people. Through determination and strength, Grace’s engaging characters find the courage to overcome adversity.
I have not read the first three books in this series and therefore, I was not familiar with the characters or the setting and the author did not offer any background that would help a reader who didn’t read the previous books.
I think Marie Grace has some great story ideas. She has many plot ideas and character ideas. The problem I found was that there were too many characters and too many plots in this one book. I know this is a continuation of three previous books but I think it would’ve worked better if she had separated some of the characters and plot lines into the separate books in the series. I believe that would make the story easier to follow.
In addition, it would have given the author more time and space to create a solid setting with understandable description. She also would have been able to put more time and detail into creating her characters so that they would be deeper and more enjoyable.
As it is, I felt like the story jumped around too much. Also, there didn’t seem to be enough time spent on creating the conflicts in the stories and the author often switched back and forth between present and past tense. A couple of her characters spoke a dialect that the author attempted to write, which I found distracting and annoying. I also found contradictions in some of her characters that seemed out of place. There were also some places where she switched point of view in the same paragraph or scene, even though she had page breaks and chapters. The page breaks and chapters seemed to transition to a different location or story line.
In this book, out of the many characters that were part of the story, I felt like I only really got to know two of them fairly well and I found their romance cute but juvenile.
I believe Marie Grace has great ideas for a great series here, but I would highly recommend that she go back and break it apart and put fewer characters and conflicts into each story; to focus on not more than four main characters and maybe four conflicts per book. I believe if she did that and really developed those four main characters and the conflicts, her stories would be much more readable and enjoyable. I also suggest that she find an interesting way to include the information as to why a select few of the characters seem to have speech issues without trying to write their issues in their dialogue.
There didn’t seem to be a single connecting theme throughout the book either. It seemed that there were many themes that Marie Grace addressed and there were times when the message(s) she wanted to get across came across preachy. Also, I didn’t feel like there was any real resolution to any of the plot lines in the story by the end of the book, which was also disappointing. I understand she wanted to have some loose ends to tease her readers with in hopes they would want to read the next book in the series, but with all of the plot lines she had, I think it would have left me feeling better about the book if one or two of the plot conflicts had come to clear resolution by the end of the book.
In conclusion, I like Marie Grace’s story line ideas and the characters I was able to get a grip on. However, I found the book difficult to read and follow. I would recommend this book to the Young Adult audience but feel it’s too juvenile for the adult audience written as it is. If Marie Grace was to go back and do a bit of editing and break the story and flesh out her characters and add more meat to the conflicts for each book of the series, I believe it would be a much better, stronger series that would definitely be interesting and enjoyable for adults. I see a lot of potential in these stories.