Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Banished is the final book in the Storymakers trilogy by Betsy Schow.  Published by Sourcebooks Fire and released 1st February, 2018, it's aimed firmly at the younger end of the YA market.  There is a strong continuity and back story for the characters and plot arc from the first two books, so I definitely wouldn't recommend this one as a standalone.

I enjoy the parallel fictional world and fictional characters in the 'real world' subgenre.  There are several that are superlative (Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books to name a standout).  This series, the Storymakers, never really got going for me personally.  Admittedly, it's been a lot of years since I was a 13 year old girl - the primary audience.  On the other hand, there are an awful lot of awkwardly written scenes covered over with sarcastic dialogue.  I can't count the number of times I was yanked out of my suspension of disbelief by clunky descriptions or unfortunate dialogue.  I received an early ARC for purposes of review, so it's entirely possible that much editing and polishing has occurred in the release copy.

I found many of the wordplay jokes too precious to be enjoyable ('No way in spell', 'No pixing joke', etc etc).  I also freely admit the 'really sane person trying to convince authority figures in a mental hospital that the monsters are real' trope has always really bothered me a lot.  I'm a medical professional and reading 'chemotherapy' in that sort of setting made me grind my teeth.  It was just so unnecessary.

Without belaboring the point, Banished wasn't for me, I am not the intended audience, and there are enough really glowing reviews that my experience is probably anomalous.

Published 1st February, 336 pages, available in ebook and paperback formats.

Two and a half stars (mostly for grammar and snark.  If punctuation and sentence structure don't matter to you, add a star or more).

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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