Review: Overcast by Ryan O’Riordan

Review by Manda Disley

OvercastWhen Rebecca Conner loses her brother, presumed dead, in a surfing accident, her family moves back to their hometown and they must learn how to continue their life. Rebecca copes by creating an elaborate made-up world inside her head where her brother is still alive and they are working together to take down a well-known crime lord. Her world is filled with guns, high tech devices, and secrets. She maintains her fantasy world for three years, and that’s when things begin to change—the people she’s been conjuring up in her head are starting to appear in real life.

The premise of this book sounds more interesting than it actually is. For the first few pages, things are okay, but it quickly goes downhill after that. The story is told in third person through Rebecca’s head, but her character is flat and so are all the characters surrounding her. Teenage girls are certainly hard to write, especially if you’ve never been one, but Rebecca reads like a stereotypical background character on a television show geared towards teenage boys. She has no defining characteristics and little to no believable emotions. As a reader you feel no connection to her and are not given any reason to care about her or her story.

On top of this, the writing is not great. The grammar was a nightmare to navigate, so if you are the kind of person who is picky about that kind of thing, steer clear. The descriptions of things were also very messy; they were either too vague or made no sense. Rebecca seems to jump to a lot of strange conclusions about things with no evidence to support them, which is frustrating to read. The setting was also unclear. We know that Rebecca’s family moves back to Matlock after the accident, but it wasn’t until I was halfway done with the book that I realized it was set in England. That is a major writing flaw.

When it comes down to it, this book could have used a lot more help in the editing process. The plot is interesting but incredibly weak, and the writing needs a lot of work. You kind of get the sense that the author may not actually read that much, which is disappointing as reading is one of the best ways to learn to write. There is a second book to go with this one; I will not be reading it.

Title: Overcast

Author: Ryan O’Riordan

Genre: YA Adventure/Mystery

Publication: Hook Books, November 11, 2011

Price: $0.99 (Kindle)

Author’s Website: http://ryanoriordan.com/

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