My Name Is Agnes
Read: 5th – 7th December 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 1 Star (I didn’t like it)
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was lucky enough to be given a digital version of this book for free from the publisher (BooksGoSocial) after making a request via Netgally.com in exchange for an honest review. The publication date was 19th January 2017.
Thanks for the ecopy.
So what’s this book about?
My Name Is Agnes is the début novel from Kelly Brookbank. The tag-line on Amazon is;
In Modern times or old, Agnes finds herself in messes…It’s how she cleans them up that is the fun part!
It is a humorous, crime, paranormal story (approx 288 pages) featuring magic, a sprinkling of romance, witches and has two time-lines – our modern world and ancient Greece.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
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.
So, what did I like about it?
So, first of all I’d like to share with you why I requested a copy of this book to review;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 and there was a lot about it that I didn’t like. We are 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 isn’t exactly as mature (or knowledgeable or world-wise) as I would expect of a character of her considerable age.
I didn’t find the book as funny as I thought I would based on the blurb, or at least 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 and there were too many longer sentences that could have been more concise which gave the whole book a childlike quality, plus Ms Brookbank used very colloquial writing – even when the setting was ancient Greece – which all combined to grate on my nerves and something that I don’t expect from a published novel (I make more allowances for self-published work as these 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 which sort of confirms that I also don’t think I’m the demographic audience that this book is aimed at.
So, although my review of MY NAME IS AGNES is low just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author. To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See MY NAME IS AGNES on Goodreads.com