Books shouldn’t be allowed to end with cliff-hangers like that.
An Elfy on the Loose by Barb Caffrey is part of the Elfy Duology, and as the first of a two-parter, ends at a point where you are building for a big confrontation, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Of course, you wouldn’t care about what happens, if she hadn’t drawn you in. But she did draw me in.
The world, or should I say worlds, that Caffrey built are a good setting for the story she places in it, of which I think only a small part is actually displayed in this first part of the duology. I kept reading to find out what happened.
Which doesn’t mean that I always found the reading easy going. I tried to figure why I sometimes felt labored at reading, and yet driven to continue. I think it had something to do with the dialogue. The conversations between the two main characters were a little odd sometimes, and quite extensive at the same time. It is that don’t show, tell, concept, but backwards, that my writing professors in college always pushed.
I mentioned how good Caffrey’s world construction was. That is true, but its presentation, often in the extensive dialogue sections, often had a slightly mechanical sense to it. It wasn’t quite as organic as, say, the world of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. But that isn’t a fair comparison — especially of an author’s first published work against a literary masterpiece.
I expect both of these elements to smooth out and get better as Caffrey works on the second part of the duology. I hope they come out sometime. I need to KNOW what is going to happen.
So go pick up a copy and learn about the Elfy world — and how the plural of elf is elfs, not elves.