Title: The Other Side of Life
Author: Jess C. Scott
Publisher: jessINK Publishing
Buy Link: Buy The Other Side Of Life Here!
Rating: You Could Read
Reviewed By: Janelle
Anya and Leticia are partners-in-crime who steal for a living. Their world turns upside down after a chance encounter with fellow rogue, Ithilnin—the enigmatic leader of an Elven band of thieves.
A scuffle to prove who’s “the better thief” transforms into more than Anya and Ithilnin ever bargained for. They retrieve the missing piece of an ancient poem, before getting caught in the secret dealings of a megacorporation. What they uncover threatens to alter the very essence of not just human life, but the other side as well.
The first rule of writing is “show, don’t tell,” and this story does a lot of telling. The readers are not shown how a character feels through their words and actions, but instead told about how they feel – often through unnecessarily lengthy purple prose. All this drags the story down because the characters are basically standing around watching paint dry waiting for the author to finished expounding on their feelings.
All this, in turn, makes all these emotions ring untrue. The characters aren’t backing any of this up, the readers are simply expected to accept the sentiments at face value and move along without asking any questions. There is no kinship between the elves, no romance between Nin and Anya; the author tells us there is, but the story never bears this out. It also drains all the tension out of the story when the readers knows how every character feels about every event.
This story also suffers from a lack of description. It is very hard to tell what is going on or how anything works or what it looks like. Take for example when one of the elves goes into a tent and finds some scientists sleeping. We are not told what kind of tent it is, if they are sleeping on cots or in sleeping bags, if there is any equipment or personal items, just that they are there and asleep.
Finally the characters themselves are very flat. The elves are describe rather lazily as Tolkien-esque, and all the humans fit neatly into their stereotypes. The villain is written off as insane because he is the bad guy and wrong and therefore could not be in anyway lucid or thoughtful.
Overall, the idea behind the story is not a bad one, but it desperately needs an editor.