Mark of The Dragonfly

How should I tell you this? Too many, too fast, too few, too early, too late; this sums up the book;and yet at the end I will recommend it to you. I'm afraid my review will be as contradictory as the book. It's main weakness lies in the fact that the story has as many holes as Emmental cheese. But it could make sense; which gives me some suspicions and a possible culprit. I might be wrong, too, about the latter.

Bobbie Shafer's Mark of the Dragonfly was published by Malachite Quills and is available on Kindle. It tells the story of a boy destined for greatness in a world much like ours but with several parallel worlds to jump around in. I have to be very vague because I am not sure from what the book tells me if I got that right.

The story is not clearly fixed in a time frame, which makes it a bit difficult to start reading it. When I read haste and then find a main character holding a monologue over two pages, then I get very suspicious. And that is only for starters. New characters are introduced and disappear with frightening speed. Everything is pushed on the reader too fast to bond with any of them including the hero of the tale. Characterization remains sketchy of necessity at that speed, and conversations are short and don't always make sense. It is like trying to read short hand in a foreign language.

I had to read through three quarters of the book to come to the place where Bobbie Shafer was allowed to show her true gift for writing. Which brings me to my suspicion: The book left me with the feeling that an editor had punched the holes into the story. The book is so full of ideas, the story could have been stretched over several books without boring the reader. It looks like having been cut down to size rather brutally.

The final show-down at the end of the book came about 1,000 pages too early and left me with so many questions they would fill more pages than the book. Despite all that, it is worth reading; either out of professional curiosity as to what can happen to a story if you apply the butcher's knife instead of the scalpel when editing or to while away a rainy afternoon. Despite everything I said so far, it is still able to take you away into a wonderful realm of adventure and make-believe.

Further reading
The Thief Who Learned Magic
Teenage Sorcerer Apprentice
Jim Button 50 Years Later