La Crimson Femme
Review: The Water of Life by Jae Deighn
★★★ #bookreview #unique
Obscure, surreal and ahead of its time, Water of Life is definitely something different. From a uniqueness standpoint, this book receives a 4 star from me. From an overall writing and editing standpoint, it does drop down which averages to a 3 star.
Katheryn is experiencing odd dreams and receives a note from a random person who says they can help and explain it to her. This leads to an immediate "falling down a rabbit hole" adventure; Katheryn picks up the "drink me" bottle and goes along for an erotic ride. The person who says she can help Kathryn brings to mind, the Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. What Katheryn experiences in her dreams and now in real life… I have only experienced in dreams and it is just as disorienting.
What I liked about this book is it brings forth a Jungian-esque concept and manifests it into a potentially amazing world building. The concepts in this book are fresh, unique and I like it. The character building was mediocre. What brought this book down is the pace of the story. My recommendation would be for the author to condense the first 50% of the book into about maybe 1/3 of the length to move it along a bit more. I get that this first part was to help set up the last half of the book. However, unless a person is determined to read to the end, most readers will lose interest within the first 10 to 15% of the story which is a shame.
I find that this book at times, reminds me of the movie Valerian which I love. I love that movie because my dreams are eerily similar to that movie. Which means this story, is familiar enough in style that I enjoy it and can relate to it. One of my favourite authors wrote a blog post once about why so many books are the same theme with a very little variation. The reason? Because it sells and anything unfamiliar or pushing a reader outside their comfort zone is difficult for readers to consume. A very small percentage (probably less than 1%) of readers can handle anything out of the norm. Unfortunately for author Jae Deighn, their book is so out of the norm it looks as if follow up stories will not happen. That is a shame. They have some really innovative ideas and I like them. I wish they could work with a good editor to make the story move at a better pace and to develop their characters a bit more. The potential is definitely there. Or perhaps, the author can move into the screen writing. Because this as a movie would be AWESOME!
My main regret with this book is that I didn't read it until too many years too late. If the author is still around, I encourage them to keep writing in this world because it is really something different and I like it. This book is recommended to readers who have active dreams, love sci-fi with erotic elements and enjoyed the movie, Valerian.