Reblogged from: Rod Raglin
In a dystopian future with civilization all but destroyed, Emperor Donovan, a wicked, evil, despot rules an area that includes London Ruins. His DRT (?) agents control the impoverished subjects with ruthless violence and the help of digital implants embedded in each person at birth (?) that identifies who they are and where they are.
Jacks is a homeless, pickpocket in her early teens. Her parents, branded as rebels, were murdered before her eyes when she was just a child. Her hatred for the Emperor and his agents is only slightly less than her will to survive.
When she is asked to see what has happened to a friend she stumbles on a roundup of subjects by DRT agents looking for rebels. To save them from execution she creates a distraction only to find she’s not the only one on a rescue mission.
Members of The Flames, an underground movement fighting against the tyranny of the Empire, are there as well and their members and Jacks form an uneasy alliance.
Gradually Jacks becomes accepted by The Flames, which consists of only five members all in their teens. However, the group’s leader, Zira, feels uneasy about the new recruit.
As the rebel group fights to save innocents as well as themselves from the malevolent Emperor Donovan and his henchmen, Zira’s apprehension comes to the fore as she is forced to reveal secrets of her own that involve Jacks.
As dystopian fiction goes Ignite is not very original but it does have potential. Unfortunately, that potential is squandered by lack of craft including amateur writing, lack of plot structure, one dimensional characterization and chapter after chapter that do little or nothing to advance the plot or develop character.
For example, the Emperor and his agents are without exception evil, nasty, cruel and stupid. The Flames are without exception good, nice, friendly, and exceptionally smart especially for teenagers living in a society that has collapsed.
They are constantly one up on the bad guys even though there are a lot more of them and they have unlimited resources including weapons.
Hold on, two of The Flames are from a wealthy “shiner” family. Their father was thrown into the dungeons for consorting with rebels but apparently the Emperor forgot to confiscate the family wealth and throw the wife and children into the street, so now the kids use their father’s money to undermine the Empire.
If you think that’s dumb, the DRT agents of the Empire are so stupid they don’t even think to have paid or coerced informants in the general population considering everyone is starving and they’d likely sell their mother not to mention The Flames, for a meal.
But no they wouldn’t because in Rogland’s dystopian future everyone poor is honest, noble and loyal to The Flames, starving or otherwise.
In addition to attaining more writing (and reading) experience what author Danielle Rogland desperately needs is a good editor. Someone who can tell her that using adverbs to describe the delivery of almost every sentence of dialogue she’s written is the mark of an amateur. If your dialogue needs to be described it likely is weak and needs to be rewritten using a stronger verb.
A good editor would cut back on the tedious descriptions of setting suggesting she leave it to the readers imagination. Most importantly, her editor would tell her to delete or significantly cut the chapters that are basically redundant chit chat and do little or nothing to advance the plot or develop character.
In the end, Ignite would be tight, entertaining and about two-thirds as long as it is now with all the superfluity eliminated.
I received this e-book free from Inkitt in return for an honest review.
Inkitt says its mission is “to ensure fair publishing and objectivity for authors. Who are we or any editor in the world to judge whether your book is worth publishing? We don’t think that we or any so-called “expert” is in a position to judge your work. You write your book for your readers, and the most important factor is whether your readers like it or not. That is what we measure at Inkitt.”
And how do they do this?
“We built artificially intelligent algorithms that have the ability to analyze reading pattern data and engagement levels. This allows us to make objective and data-driven decisions regarding a novel’s potential to become a bestseller. “
Apparently none of the above, as copied from Inkitt’s site, has anything to do with good writing, but hey, who am I to argue with artificially intelligent algorithms, or how many people you can persuade to click on your online book and add it to their “reading list”.
All the same, and despite being approved by artificially intelligent algorithms, I’m giving Ignite two stars.