Reviews

ARC Review: My Name Is Agnes by Kelly Brookbank

book cover for My Name Is Agnes by Kelly Brookbank

Flora Reviews… My Name Is Agnes by Kelly Brookbank. My thanks to the publisher, BooksGoSocial (via Netgalley) for the eBook in exchange for my candid thoughts about the story.

So what’s My Name Is Agnes about?

This post contains affiliate links (marked *). If you buy the book using that link, I'll receive a small commission from the sale.

ARC Review: My Name Is Agnes by Kelly BrookbankMy Rating:
Title: My Name is Agnes by Kelly Brookbank
Series: Standalone Novel
Published by Self-Published on 19 January 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
No. of Pages: 288

At first glance, Agnes seems pretty normal. She loves running her café/bookstore, ‘Steamers and Dreamers’, where she’s adored by all her staff. She doesn’t have much family, but her Uncle Robin is always there when she needs him. She’s even got a nice little flirtation going on with a cute customer named Stuart. When evening rolls around, Agnes likes to go out for a drink or two with her friends. Okay, maybe more than one or two. What are you, her conscience?

But Agnes isn’t that normal at all. In the first place, she’s a witch, and in the second, she’s thousands of years old…and in the third, well, you know her Uncle Robin? He’s a shape-shifting bat. And Agnes has troubles. She had them back in Greek antiquity when her best friend married a prince that Agnes never really trusted. She’s got them today too. Remember that cute guy Stuart? Well he’s asked her to help him investigate a murder that she… umm…committed. In duelling story lines, set in ancient times and modern, Agnes grapples with problems so epic they could frazzle a witch to the point it could blow a witch’s mind or at least blow things up with her eyes. But don’t think that means Agnes won’t have time to fall in love…twice.


Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Formats Available: eBook, Paperback
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal Link

Read: 5th – 7th December 2017

The publication date was 19th January 2017.

My Name Is Agnes is the début novel from Kelly Brookbank. It is a humorous, crime, paranormal story featuring magic, a sprinkling of romance, witches and has two time-lines – our modern world and ancient Greece.

So, what did I like about My Name Is Agnes?

So, first of all I’d like to share with you why I requested a copy of this book to review;

  1. I love supporting début authors. It’s such a tough arena and although I read a lot, I admit that I don’t have the creativity or gumption to put something out there myself so I really admire those that do.
  2. The blurb just drew me in. Agnes sounded fabulous, I loved the idea of a shape-shifting bat, I really enjoy murder mysteries and the duel time-line intrigued me.
  3. The front cover! Need I say more; it’s gorgeous.

Ms Brookbank’s writing style is light-hearted, humorous and although she takes quite a bit of creative license with historic facts, that’s OK, it’s a fantasy story after all.

I liked the premise for this book and appreciated the uniqueness of Ms Brookbank’s version of what a witch is or what magic they can do. My Name Is Agnes is written in the first person, from our heroine, Agnes, point of view in her casual, playful, young hipster voice (although I was never really sure what human age she was supposed to be portraying).

As I’ve already mentioned, I liked the idea of a book having two time-lines, two stories for the price of one! I could tell that Ms Brookbank really did her research about the sports held at the ancient Olympics and I appreciated that she ensured that her readers never got lost by separating the plots with a page break using the very Grecian letter Omega ΩΩΩΩΩ (I liked that on both levels! lol!)

So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?

You can tell by the low star rating that this book did not grip me. There was a lot about it that I didn’t like. We’re all different and like different things so I won’t go on and on about why this book didn’t work for me.

My main gripes were.

Agnes doesn’t feel her age. She isn’t exactly as mature as I would expect of a character of her considerable age. She also isn’t as knowledgeable or world-wise for someone who’s been living on this planet for thousands of years.

I didn’t find the book as funny as I thought I would. Reading the blurb, it’s marketed as a humorous book. I didn’t quite get the humour that Agnes and the other characters are rolling about laughing at. Could it be an age thing, a culture thing…?

Beware of the cliffhangers! I think Ms Brookbank got so caught up with the ancient Greece plotline that she forgot about the modern-day one. *sigh*

And finally, I have to say the grammar, spelling and prose throughout were in need of a great deal of editing. I felt that the words used were too simplistic. There were too many long sentences that could have been more concise. This gave the whole book a childlike quality. Plus Ms Brookbank used very colloquial writing – even when the setting was ancient Greece. All these things combined and grated on my nerves while reading. I don’t expect these issues from a published novel although, I make allowances for self-published work. Indie authors have to be creator, editor and proof-reader all in one!

So, basically what I’m saying is…

I did not like this book. If I’m honest, the plot idea is really good but I feel it was let down by the inexperienced execution. Having said that there are plenty of higher ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. This sort of confirms that I also don’t think I’m the demographic audience that this book is aimed at.

Don’t let my thoughts put you off. MY NAME IS AGNES could be your next favourite read. Click on any of the links to check it out yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the author.

About Kelly Brookbank

Kelly Brookbank will be the first to admit it...she gets her best ideas in the shower. She bets
everybody does, in fact. Probably Edison spent most of his life in the bathtub. Must have to do
with circulation or something...Kelly doesn't know, go ask someone smart.
So she got an idea in the shower, then fine-tuned it that one time she went on the treadmill.
Somebody somewhere told her she was supposed to write down a timeline, so she sat down on
her very comfortable couch and as her rear-end expanded, her fingers typed what her tornado of a brain told her to. Five months later the first wicked version of My Name is Agnes was born. In between her rear-end expansions and her brainstorms, Kelly is a hockey mom of two, a wife of three, and a gardener of one million weeds and five plants.

Kelly has never won an award because those are for hoity toity serious books, not fun and a bit nasty books like 'My Name is Agnes'. Plus, there is too many swears in her book for "Book of high standing in the 3rd century of Queen who's it's name" or whatever award. If there was an award for 'Fun, hip, witch that every woman wants to be like', Agnes would totally get that award!

signature graphic. Happy reading from flora image sitting on books

Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to read this review.

Bye for now,

Flora x

book cover for My Name Is Agnes by Kelly Brookbank

About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog - www.florasmusings.com

Don't be shy, leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: