Forsaken earned 3 stars from us. The best part about this book is Gwen. This book might have some fantasy elements, but this book is really a character book and Gwen is the character. I liked Gwen, and so I liked this book. I enjoyed moving through the real world with Gwen. I also enjoyed the hints of fantasy the author provided.
There were a few times when I started to get bored, but that is when Gwen’s life would change and I’d be pulled right back in. The author did a descent job keeping the story moving.
Forsaken by R. J. Craddock is a young adult novel published by Transcendent Books in 2013. The second edition has been published.
The novel’s premise
The novel is really the story of a little girl who just appears in the snow and there are no footsteps behind her. She is an orphan. She has premonitions and is quicker and stronger than other little girls. And we are going to experience her life. This is her story.
Quality: Below Average
This book is self-published. Like many new independent authors, the cost of high quality editing is too high and non-professional editors were used. However, forgoing a professional editor leads to lingering editing issues. I highlighted a good number of them. The good news is that I was only minorly distracted by them. I read the 2nd edition. The editing issues really cost this book. It would probably have been 3.5 or 4 stars had there not been so many typos.
Imagination and Uniqueness
The imagination is bigger than the book. Her prologue and her Forsaken (Book 1), while both are quite imaginative, don’t seem to be connected . . . yet. In fact, I feel like we are being held back from Craddock’s full imagination and we need to get a better understanding of this prologue in Book 2.
I felt a real life movement to this book, which was quite enjoyable for me. Sure Gwen and Raven are different, but the majority of the book is about how they deal with real world issues. This made the story easy for all readers to identify with.
Also, a content edit could be used to crisp up this book. I think there are small places throughout that could be condensed and help this book move a little quicker. But then again, maybe those are necessary for us to really connect with Gwen.
Gwen is the character that matters. This is all about her. Sure Raven is somewhat there, and she interacts with many other characters throughout her life, but this is Gwen’s story. Her character is deep and you fall for her quite easily. You must like Gwen to like this book.
This book covers multiple years and at the start of the book, Gwen is described as quite young. Other than the first hospital scene, Gwen acts closer to eleven or twelve almost the entire book, even when she is six to ten.
Magic System (fantasy) / Real Science (Science Fiction)
Gwen are Raven are both different. I am pretty sure Gwen is one of “the Children of Cain,” while Raven turns out to be a werewolf. Gwen can use magic, and encounters a few other witches who attack her for reasons Gwen doesn’t understand. She is more powerful than them, though, but doesn’t know fully comprehend her magic yet.
We don’t get a complete sense of the magic world in book 1. But we feel a desire to read more and Craddock must deliver this in Book 2.
The eBook quality is now, as of posting this article, quite adequate. We actually helped R. J. Craddock improve the quality of her eBook. It is difficult to make a high quality eBook and this is a struggle for many new self-published authors. A high quality and smooth flowing eBook should make her story much easier read. There should be few formatting issues to distract you from your reading.
About the Author
R. J. CRADDOCK Born Ruth Jerraisetti Harris in Oka Tamuning, Guam, Ruth is the youngest of eight children. As a young child she began telling stories, developing unique characters, and conjuring fantastical worlds in her mind. As she grew older, a thirst for reading overcame her and she devoured all kinds of books, finding kindred spirits in classic novelists such as Dickens, Bronte, and Fitzgerald. She started writing her first novel at age eleven. After high school she attended the Art Institute of Phoenix to pursue her other great passion: Art. Ruth now lives with her husband and three sons in Springville, Utah.