R&R Review Monday: The Novice’s Journal by Lillian Nyato

The Zoe Brown Trilogy #2

Goodreads Blurb:
When the pentagram chain was presented into Zoe’s world, it changed her overall perspective completely. She became a witch, which was the first of many journeys that she was forced to travel.
But now, the discovery of an old journal raises havoc. It triggers her to revisit her past, confront her darkest fears and deal with a difficult future.
Doomsberg is far from being safe and her family and friends are not spared from the heat.
As if that is not enough, matters of the heart betray her collected composure. She is torn between two suitors who affect her at different intervals. Both of whom are fighting to win her heart.
The Novices Journal is a journey that tests her patience, her courage, her willpower and her emotional stance.

In the process, tough choices must be made, ones that make her grow and others that make her suffer.”

Thank you to the author, Lillian Nyato, for gifting me with a copy of The Novice’s Journal in exchange for an honest review!
Unfortunately, this book succumbed to middle-book syndrome.  However, before I get to that, let me go over the things that I did like.
For one thing, the concept of this book (and the series, really) is still very interesting to me.  I really liked how the story was structured with the different plot points.  In this way, the flow of the book was kept very constant with a few high-stress blips.
Like the last book, here again some of the sentences and words felt forced and awkward.  You know how you read a bit of dialogue and it sounds nothing like what anyone would say?  The best advice I can give concerning dialogue (this is me judging from personal experience in the bookish world) is that if your character is modern, slip into their mindset and simply talk like you might.  People in the modern age use contractions and while some of our sentences can be halting, that’s when you use dashesTo that end, there were some adjectives that I don’t believe were used correctly (unless the author was referring to their third or fourth definition.
I also was confused as to what exactly Zoe’s role is in the whole saving everything plan.  She is tasked with saving the whole witching world in the first book and it didn’t exactly follow through in this one.  When she told people about what she was doing, she made it sound like she was the driving force when, in reality, we only saw her helping every once in a while.
One other thing that bothered me is the love triangle that tried.  It was fine but a little out there.  Zoe also seemed entirely oblivious to everyone’s feelings.
The Final Verdict:
The main thing that I didn’t agree with was the fluency.  The flow is wonderful but when it comes to the individual fluency of each chapter concerning dialogue and the like, it can be a little jerky.  Also, when it came to Zoe’s role in both the love triangle and the whole saving the world thing, I didn’t think she fulfilled her rolls properly.  However, I did enjoy the concept and am hoping that the last book in the trilogy will wrap things up nicely.
2.5 stars
“‘Yes boo,’ he yelled back, coming out of the kitchen toward them.
‘I ain’t your boo.  For the next few minutes you can call me cousin or something related,’ Liz said seriously, and Zoe couldn’t help but laugh.” 

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