PLOT: 3/5 CHARACTERS: 3/5 WRITING: 2/5 CLIMAX: 2.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 2/5
I haven’t reviewed many contemporary romances in recent years. Though, there have been many books on my much-neglected TBR list that I need to read and review.
The few that manage to remain on the top of my most loved list include The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, Bangalored by Gayatri Chandrasekharan, Love Story by Erich Segal, and Wish I Could Tell You by Durjoy Datta.
In the hope of discovering yet another memorable contemporary romance, I picked up Neha Shukla Barretto’s Victor Maze. Read on to know more about the book and my experience of reading it.
At the very first go, the book manages to create a lingering curiosity in the mind of the reader. Yes, the cover features a semi-naked man and a possibly rain-drenched woman, but what is their apparent relationship? are they currently romantically engaged? – that is left on the reader to ponder upon. Further, the expression on their faces also generates curiosity as these do not reflect a typical romantic association.
Only when you have gone through the blurb that the reason for the man’s semi-nakedness becomes evident. The boxing club angle adds a whole layer of ambiance and flavor to the story. Thus, overall the cover and the blurb do a good job by creating intrigue in the mind of the reader.
The story as it goes
Tina’s dad runs a boxing club where the hero of our story, Victor used to train. When they (Tina and Victor) first met as strangers, none of them ever imagined that their lives would become intertwined forever. But as was bound to happen, Victor and Tina ended up falling truly, madly, and irrevocably in love with each other.
The only thing. Their love story was never meant to be.
As life takes its own course, Victor leaves town and moves on to become the state boxing champion. While Tina stays behind. But very soon, a sharp turn of events leads both of them on a completely unexpected path. One that is only meant to take them away from each other.
Will the cruel maneuvering of fate ever let Victor and Tina find their ‘happily forever’?
Will Victor ever get his love back?
Both the writing style and language have multiple issues. Issues that cannot be easily ignored. The language and more so the narrative style are too complicated. So much so, that at times, it becomes very difficult to make sense of what is happening in the story. The reader ends up being confused and frustrated. All because of the very evident lack of clarity in the narration.
As the scenes frequently change between different locations and times, there is no demarcation separating the different timelines and different places. Further, text markers like a location, or date, and year, find no place in the narration, making it even more difficult for the reader to navigate through the haphazard writing.
Victor and Tina being the main characters are well-developed, but just like the other aspects of the book, a huge part of their story remains concealed and tangled. The substandard use of language takes away a lot from their otherwise charming personalities. And the reader remains unsatisfied and wanting for answers.
What I didn’t like?
Apart from the lack of clarity, there is also the issue of grammar and poor editing. There are enough grammatical and editing errors in the book to greatly affect the reading experience.
Sentences and statements like these are quite common.
“Your early today”, “A car crash what was it”, “Shegets hold of his shoulder”.
There is also a lack of proper punctuations, discomforting the reader even further.
Just to give you an example, a sentence from the book is reproduced below.
“She looks at him with an element of surprise for a moment slipping into a memory but bounces back immediately.”
In the end
In the end, Victor Maze is a tragic story of a young man and a woman who dare to fall in love despite all odds stacked against them. The plotline is engaging, but it is the writing and the language itself that fails to live up to the reader’s expectations.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Victor Maze using the link below.