Many people have something to say and think the best medium is the novel even though fiction is difficult to write and is subject to the tastes of the reader much more so than non-fiction. What beginning writers seldom realize is how much work writing is and how hard it is to write a readable book.
The Morrigan is a praise-worthy attempt to write a novel. The author needs to have developed her writing more thoroughly and with more criticism from people who are not her friends (like, a local writing class at a college). The author would also have been served better if she had engaged the services of a professional editor to review the novel with an eye to smoothing out plot points and creating better-developed characters.
The basic theme of the book was fine, and interesting enough that despite the fact that I am not thrilled by the notion of ‘erotic pagan fiction’ I was willing to give it a read. Seemingly ordinary people have their lives disrupted by a couple of Celtic deities as a result of a simple decision. The people reincarnate through centuries, always repeating the same (doomed) interactions until a different decision is made and the situation resolves itself.
Although I am not a specific worshipper of the God/desses used as characters, I was vaguely offended at their lack of dimensionality (it’s akin to using Zeus as a character because he liked to make love to animals). The erotic scenes were decently done, and I am sure there are a number of teens who would think they were “hawt,” but they felt the same after awhile.
I don’t even want to get into a technical description of why the author’s notions of reincarnation and karma are shallow enough to make Shirley MacLaine look like a scholar and a genius.
As much as we hate the traditional publishing route, there is a good reason why they reject so many manuscripts each day (and why the ‘in’ box is called the slush pile) – so many are poorly written. The Morrigan is a really good rough draft. A critical review, more work on character development, a detailed plot outline to guide the author through the story, all of these things would have served to create the story whose bones are seen, but obscured.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry and Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D
Author: Annette Maxberry
Iceni Books, 2005
pp. 296, $18.95