Disclaimer: I love fanfic. A lot.
Disclaimer the second: I am Australian. Hopefully my spelling and vocab make sense.
Many years ago, I watched an episode of
Buffy and thought, “I wonder what other people thought about this?” From a simple Yahoo search (this was pre-Google) I found forums, then it was a quick descent (or ascent, depending on the showrunner) into fanfic.
So imagine my joy when some big names in fandom announced they were starting up their own publishing company with the express purpose of promoting the original works of fandom authors. I was all over that Kickstarter like a seagull on a chip. The initial Kickstarter was for three novels: one was published in 2014 and the remaining two were released just before Christmas 2015. The first novel I devoured: it was basically Harry Potter mashed with Life of Brian and I loved it. The second novel was a great respite from a family Christmas: it was a behind-the-curtains look at a dysfunctional suburb.
Febricant (Natalie Wilkinson) is not one of my favourite fandom authors, so I was a bit reluctant to read her novel, but I pushed myself, because the other two had been so good.
Should have gone with my instincts.
By all rights, this should be an amazing read: it has creepy blood magic, a half-wild werewolf searching for his missing sister, vindictive ex-lovers, and a hidden Underground London (think Neverwhere but easier to come and go). Reading the blurb, it should be all, “Tick, tick, tick.”
It just isn’t. The characters are two-dimensional, the action takes forever to start and when it arrives is confusing, the scares are half-baked, the plot twists are telegraphed, and I’m pretty sure I hadn’t drunk enough to have missed that much of the plot. There were parts that were really enjoyable – just a pity the whole book couldn’t be to that standard.