X is for … eXcessive fashion reports

I always knew filling the X slot in my alphabet reading challenge might be difficult, so when I spotted a book titled Xoe early in the year I grabbed it. Due to my lack of choice I wasn’t especially hopeful.

Cover of Sara C Roethle's Xoe

Click to try it for yourself

Fie on me for a cynical doubter! Actually, Xoe was mostly a fun read. The relationships between the female characters was great fun and well-depicted. The paranormal elements were good and intriguing (we had the introduction of demons to bring a different slant to the customary paranormal vampires and werewolves fare). What I enjoyed less was the romantic element which felt slightly forced and clichéd, as though the author had been told to make the romance more obvious. And there were an awful lot of fashion reports. Maybe this stuck with me because I rarely describe my characters, and never in detail (I’m often told off by editors for this). But what do you need to fix a character in your mind? I don’t think very much – maybe hair and eye colour, and then if something’s remarkable about them mention that: they might be very tall, or always wear a hat. But in Xoe we seemed to constantly get a run down of what each character was wearing when we met them, which I found unnecessary.

But maybe I’m the one out of step, reader – do you like a full and detailed description of characters, or just a broad stroke of description that you can fill in for yourself?

And it’s hard to believe I’m nearly at the end of my alphabet reading challenge! Check back next week to see what I’ve found starting with Y.

About katyhaye

Katy Haye writes fast-paced fantasy novels for YA readers and is fascinated by the science of stories.
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