“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”
It took me years to truly understand what that meant. That fate is only a byproduct of what we allow ourselves to consciously believe. Accept. Demand. That free will (or choice) and fate go hand in hand. YOU choose your path, and then fate, God, karma…whatever it is you believe in then reacts accordingly. This is a difficult concept to understand. To be frank, I still struggle with it. (And assume that I always will, despite my faith.) But it IS an interesting circle of human psyche to think about, AND (coincidentally…or not) it is the foundation on which Lanie Bross’ novel “Fates” is built on.
To lay it all out on the table, this novel is NOT getting the best of reviews. And though I haven’t read any of them, after READING the novel…I’m fairly certain I can guess the reasons why.
To say I have a love hate relationship with this novel would be spot on. With the risk of sounding like a total douche-canoe, there is more devastatingly WRONG with this novel than RIGHT with it.
For starters, it reads more like a patchwork quilt (with loose stitching) than a solid whole.
What does that mean?
Well, let’s think of it this way. Imagine for a second that you are a writer. And as a force of habit you carry around an “inspiration notebook” with you everywhere you go. When an idea strikes, you stop and write it down. After a few months this notebook is FILLED with hundreds and hundreds of brilliant ideas. Imaginative. Beautiful. Incredible ideas. But…you don’t know how to translate these random thoughts into one solid story. So instead you sit down at the computer, and start spewing words onto the page with only a vague recollection of a path. What comes out might still be beautiful, and imaginative (rightfully so since the original idea was) but it’s also incredibly disjointed. THIS is the overall feel to “Fates.”
The problem with this? The overwhelming need to live inside the awe worthy moments for clarification. I felt more lost than attuned when reading this novel, but I HAD to know what the point was…forcing me to continue reading, searching for answers. Regardless of my like or dislike for the story and its characters. It was almost a compulsion.
Which of course opened doors for the love I felt for this book. Despite the distracted feeling of the book, it didn’t take away the power of Bross’ imagery. (When Corinthe or Luc found themselves in a new “world.”)
If the entire book had been plotted with the same attention to detail as these few passages were, I would have been completely and utterly lost inside of the story. No hate, no disgust for fumbled execution, just admiration.
As it stands, I can’t help but grunt at my need for more. More explanations, more segues, more…string. I loved the imagination it took to write this book. I loved how my mind instantly turned each and every descriptive pass into a mental movie. I even loved the characters and their tenuous relationships. What I didn’t love…everything else. Which let’s face it, is A LOT!
*raises glass* Here’s to hoping Ms. Bross can solidify her story for its second instalment, otherwise I’m afraid her knack for world building details with be buried alive.
Oh, and as for the whole fate vs. free will thing…it’s fairly fascinating to read what happens when the charges of fate are introduced to the concept of choice.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember to: Question everything.