Off the Map


Oliver Aubry is high born and is expected to marry according to his station, yet he marries Chanel Angeli, an orphan who has joie de vivre that is difficult to contain. Oliver has to deal with his parents and mentor’s displeasure but he refuses to abandon Chanel - she makes him feel alive. When he is taken prisoner by his mentor and made a slave, it is left to Chanel to find a way to save him.


It was quite difficult to determine whether this was prose or poetry. The author's writing was almost lyrical, similar to an epic like "Beowulf" or "The Odyssey". Despite it being almost pure telling with bits and pieces of dialogue, the reader is drawn into the story. Up to a certain point.


Since the almost pure telling of the novel does not allow the reader to become engaged or invest in what happens to the characters, it may not hold their interest for long. The use of the omniscient voice may have been the norm for novels in the 19th or early 20th centuries, but readers of the 21st century are more discerning and will likely prefer novels that allow them to be more involved in the lives and decisions of the characters of a book. There is potential here, but it would have been a more interesting read if there was more showing than telling.


M.P. Ceja