Review: Black Wings

Black Wings

Book: Black Wings
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Author: Iryna K. Combs

Black Wings is a sci-fi story about good and evil people being transformed into angel-like beings and werewolf-like creatures. There are some dark and light parts in the story and when all is considered, it is worth consideration as something to read.

The author’s background is taken into consideration. English is not her first language, but the strange thing is, that didn’t seem to be the case here at all. Instead, it might be her lack of a firm grasp of common conversation which shows. While it is clear a lot was put into this book, and it’s specific story might appeal to some people, there still is a lot of work to be done on it.

Firstly, while some of the scientific and technical details were interesting and had a sufficient sense of realistic complexity to them, there were too many times where it was lacking, so it is difficult so say whether this story truly earned the sci part of sci-fi.

The first few pages of this story reveal what is to come in terms of the writing. It starts of in a strange way. The flow was too robotic. It reads like it is coming from an automatic program recounting past events. Pieces like these would work well if they are supposed to come from a disembodied voice of a survivor perhaps, but even that would leave something to be desired. Setting a physical environment is difficult in books because you generally don’t have a visual medium to show your audience, but even considering this, it was too robotic. The characters themselves didn’t redeem much. A lot of questionable statements and strange behaviour came from the main characters. It’s not easy to relate to the kind of people they are or even just some of the decisions they made.

There were a few good sections of the writing, though. One chapter of the story detailed the torture of the main character. The author is able to create an atmosphere which is similar to real torture/struggle environments, which adds a sense of realism to the fantasy of the story. The reader gets a good idea of what it might really be like, with details of reactions to the torture and the cycle an individual might undergo while they endure weeks of it.
Still, the writing felt stilted sometimes, with parts of some sentences sounding as though they were meant for a screenplay as stage direction rather than a novel. The writing is sometimes not very nuanced while other times it is clear less (more concise wording) would have been better. The writer tends to state exactly what’s happening, when certain things should, for better or worse, be left up to the reader to identify. What’s worse is those things tend not to be difficult to spot which only magnifies the problem. At times the author further adds to the problem of a lack of nuance or simplicity in dialogue. Too many times it is hard to imagine someone using certain words or stating things in certain ways. That problem became vaguely frustrating because there was some genuinely good pieces of writing, both in terms of flow and the story itself.

The author is guilty of writing very much like a adolescent might write. She states things like ‘They all talked and enjoyed the night as they got to know each other. They became close. After becoming like family they spent weeks together while enjoying each other’s company.’ The problem is, while sometimes confining hours or even days into a few words can sometimes be necessary for brevity’s sake, the author rarely used it this way. Instead, many times situations where one might expect lengthy dialogue are only given a brief sentence. This very juvenile style greatly harms the writing and the story.

What makes the writing style very confusing are those sections of good writing. It’s as though the author had a few good scenes written but then rushed to connect them and included juvenile writing as a placeholder. If this was the case, then excuses can be accepted. However, this wasn’t a rough draft, so many questions regarding the overall quality of the writing remain. With some revisions this might turn out to be a good book. There are good story arcs, with some twists and surprises, but unfortunately this does not seem to be ready for a best-sellers list quite yet.

Ultimately I hope this story gets revised and released again. It has the potential to be something good. Until that time comes, I can only give it a rating of interesting.