book review

So I just read The Spirit in the Crypt by Alexander Lound

I was given a copy of the E-Book by the Author in exchange for an honest review. 

And I didn’t like this book but I do think the author had great potential. The Spirit in the Crypt is Alexander Lound’s first ever novel and I can definitely see that in the writing though I think with a little more work and some polishing he has really good potential. Today I’m going to talk about my thoughts and we can see how things go from there. But first! What’s the book about? 

When fifteen-year-old Jonathan Roberts goes out with his friends on a summer night, he doesn’t expect to be forced to enter a crypt by Francis Everton. To be forced to look at skeletons decaying in their graves. To hear the voice, screaming at him. Screaming into his mind. Commanding him to leave. What the voice in the crypt belongs to, he can only wonder. A demon? A ghost? It gives him nightmares for weeks afterwards. Of skeletons strangling him. And then, bizarrely, of a girl from his school, making the long walk across the graveyard and entering the crypt. Never to come out before his waking. When he returns to school in September, he never expects to learn that something awful has happened to the girl, turning his fear into panic. Panic which will force him to unravel the mystery of the crypt, and in doing so, many mysteries about himself.

So the number one thing that I struggled with in this book is dialogue, conversations feel so stilted and uncomfortable. It often doesn’t match the characters too. The main character, Jonathan, is 15 yet he talks like someone much older. It was frustrating to read. There were loads of conversations that felt like they lead nowhere and gave me no new info yet they were given so much more importance than they needed. As well as frustrating continuity errors, things said at the beginning and changed later on.

Something else I found so annoying was the characters themselves. I normally love mentor characters so much but I feel like I knew so little about Aaron, he could have been such an awesome character but there really wasn’t much care and consideration into his actual character development. He could have been so much but all I know is he wears a cowboy hat. The same for Cassy, I can obviously tell Lound struggles to write for women. 

All that being said I do think the idea was interesting and I think with a little more work Lound could be an amazing writer. As an author I know he could grow to be as big as someone like Darren Shan or Derek Landy, two authors who remind me so much of Lound, but I think this is an amazing first try. I really hope Lound takes what I’ve said and considers it as positive feedback, maybe reading some things by the author’s I’ve suggested to see how they do things. 

I don’t want this review to discourage Lound, I was a Q&A he did on his Insta and one of the questions he was asked was what advice he would give to aspiring authors. He said: 

Never give up! Never lose sight of your goal and your ambition, especially when you love what you do. If people put your story down, then write another one. A better one. 

I think this is such an amazing attitude and I hope even after this review Lound keeps that attitude. I can’t wait to see what Lound does in the future, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out!

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