The Kept, by James Scott

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a book, not that I haven’t been reading. I’ve just come to realize that people are less and less interested in other’s opinions, and that’s all a review is after all.

Best practice writing advice is, “Hook them from the first page.” As writers, we all try to accomplish that, but few succeed. I can count on one hand the actual number of books that have literally grabbed me and refused to let go right from the first page. This book was one of them, with an unexpected twist.

The first page raised several questions and set the tone for the entire read. The writing was exquisite. But that is where the positives end.

The writing throughout was superb, my hat’s off to Mr. Scott. The subject matter was dark, gritty, real. All of that lends itself to a fabulous read, but on to the negatives.

I am not one for head-hopping (multiple POVs within a scene with no indicator that  the viewpoint character has changed. This book does that and as good as his writing was, it drove me crazy. Right around page 70, when Elspeth was first able to get around and they decided to leave at morning light, we go from Caleb’s thoughts directly into Elspeth’s thoughts, which always makes me stop and review a page or two to make sure I didn’t inadvertently miss something, or turn two pages at the same time.

Then there was the extremely long blocky passages. Some were interesting enough to sustain the hard-on-the-eyes reading, but many more were bloated description. On the positive side, the style did lend to character-fleshing, but little else.

I wasn’t as disappointed in the actual story as I was in the style. The story began with much promise, but fizzled out as it went. A story about so much pain, tragedy, and overall negativity should have a redeeming factor. Something to make the reader think it wasn’t all in vain. This book did not have that. Although Scott displays artistry in his writing, there were other necessary elements missing.

Definitely not the worst book I’ve read this year, but I might think twice before choosing another of his books based on this one.



About K.E. Garvey

Gather 'round and let me tell you a story... View all posts by K.E. Garvey


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


The Official Website

People We Know

They're more interesting than you think.

Diane Gallagher Photos

Photos taken around the world...

Problems With Infinity

Confessions of a Delusional Maniac

Daily (w)rite

Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.

Jean Lee's World

Author of Young Adult Fantasy

A Holistic Journey

Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering

The Writersaurus

Adventures in Writing, Editing, and Publishing


Starting life Fresh: Living to Win

Sarah Lea Stories

Where brevity is literary minimalism®


Howdy! We're the largest independent bookstore in Texas. This is our blog.

Book of words

Books, reviews and all things worth reading

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

The Misfortune Of Knowing

Books, Writing, & the Law

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Stroppy Editor

Minding other people’s language. A lot.

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Drinkers with Writing Problems

Literature by the Lit Up

Guild Of Dreams

Build Your World and They Will Come

Ink Drop Interviews & Reviews

Personal Blog of Author K.E. Garvey


“Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” – Sylvia Plath

Writer Unboxed

about the craft and business of fiction

Writers In The Storm

A Blog On Writing

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

%d bloggers like this: