Prey, you should’ve been ready.
Whimsy meets wicked in this dark fairy tale: The Queen’s Keeper by JL Vampa.
What if I told you that everything you knew about your life was a lie and that you’re being hunted?
What if I told you that you were prey?
This is the reality for Luvenia Rousseau. Amidst the struggle to survive in a famished, war-torn country and the fight against the phantoms of her past, her family is brutally ripped apart by a tyrant queen’s venomous army. Just when all hope seems lost, she stumbles upon an enchanted realm while the queen hunts for the one who got away.
Book Review Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Cover Review Rating: 2/5 stars
Time to Judge that Cover!
Calling all shadowed faces staring out on books! I don’t hate half shadowing faces or figures. They work, set the mood, and they catch my eye most of the time. I like the darker side of stories just like I love sarcastic humorous ones. That said, I did click to find out more about this novel, but the cover didn’t sell me at all.
The blurb did.
So you know what this means… I got issues with this cover or should I say covers.
First, there are two different covers between Net Galley & Goodreads. Second, why the hell would you only have the image of a chin? Everyone’s got to start somewhere and this is def a case of author designed the cover and with a little research, she licensed the photo through Canva. Now, there is nothing wrong with this!
However, both of these images fall flat. There’s not enough contrast. Light and Dark pull. I almost wish there were hints of color to make it stand out against the darkness more. There’s a reason why the artist Caravaggio is known for his amazing chiaroscuro paintings.
Haven’t heard of Caravaggio, then click on his name here to learn more about this amazing master artist, but here’s a sampling of his work in the meantime.
Don’t you see the contrast immediately?
Yes, he paints the gory/darker type of art. Get over that and focus on the coloration/light/dark areas. This my friends for painters is called Chiaroscuro. Let’s take a minute to educate ourselves on this term. I know many outside the art world won’t be accustomed to it. Below is the definition provided by https://study.com/academy/lesson/chiaroscuro-in-art-definition-technique-artists-examples.html.
Painters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods wanted to engage their viewers. Like the cinematographers of classic Hollywood, they used the play of light and shadow to give life and drama to their images. The word chiaroscuro is Italian for light and shadow. It’s one of the classic techniques used in the works of artists like Rembrandt, da Vinci, and Caravaggio. It refers to the use of light and shadow to create the illusion of light from a specific source shining on the figures and objects in the painting. Along with linear perspective, chiaroscuro was one of the new techniques used by painters of the Renaissance to make their paintings look truly three-dimensional.
Like photographers and cinematographers centuries later, painters realized that the contrast between areas of light and dark heighten the impact of an image.
The reason why THE QUEEN’S KEEPER falls flat is ’cause there’s not enough push and pull. Chiaroscuro or even hints of color. Like I said many outside the art/design world would look at the facial cover image and say it looks good.
An artists eye will say there needs to be more highlights, perhaps let’s add a touch a color in the eyes, the lip, some area. I’m not even going to go into the chin cover. This is when it helps to get a professional/artist/designer to see what the author does not see. The cover could’ve been so much more with a few tricks here and there from the one used on Goodreads.
So unfortunately, this cover will rate at a 2/5 stars for me.
Book Cover Design by J.L. Vampa
“Prey, you should’ve been ready.”
I started this novel with high expectations and I didn’t even realize it was pubbed in 2018. Like wow, it’s still on Net Galley?! Oh well. The first little line from the blurb up top got my attention real quick. I dove in, ready for an all-night ride, and ended up trudging through the swamps of slow pace, loss of direction, stale characterization the rest of the way.
J.L. Vampa can write.
The beginning of the story has great impact, pace, lots of dark evil things going down. Her brother betrays her family, death, her sister and her are arrested/capture. Then the main character tries to escape, save her sister but fails and falls down some kind of portal into another land trying to escape again herself. This all sounds like a great fantasy read, then it all went downhill for me.
The whole rest of the story revolves around this other portal land, the character has lost the active role she played in the beginning and becomes the result of everything happening around her. Proactive?! The character must be more proactive! The story line’s pace slowed to accommodate the world-building. This should never happen. When one focuses on pretty clothes, eating, and the world, it has lost focus.
Serious developmental edits were needed for the novel to help maintain the pace started in the beginning and keeping the character proactive rather than reactive.
I really had high hopes for this novel since it started out with a great storyline and all the high ratings. I question the other ratings due to these huge underlying issues. Due to this, I rated THE QUEEN’S KEEPER 2.5/5 stars.
Let’s be honest here. If it was great or sucked I have no problem writing it out.