THE SCARLET THREAD – A dismal review of what could have been excellent

Today I’m reviewing a YA book by D.S. Murphy, THE SCARLET THREAD. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be pretty.

  Click here to read the full synopsis and book info on Goodreads.

I have to tell you, I’m so disappointed in how this book ended that I actually feel angry. Not the sort of angry you get from hating the outcome, but hating the way it actually ends…as in the story was cut off in the middle and the author is forcing the reader pay for the second half to see how it ends.

Not cool.

The sad thing is, I follow D.S. Murphy online. I subscribe to his newsletter. I think he has some valuable tips for writers, but if writing a book like this is one of them, I am greatly disappointed in his teachings.  Mr. Murphy, you don’t end a book in the middle of the story and then make your readers pay to see how it ends. I know there are those who say you will make the 2nd book available for free to your newsletter subscribers, but a reader shouldn’t have to subscribe to a newsletter to see how a book ends. I already paid for the book. I shouldn’t have to pay twice to get the ending. This is the equivalent of buying THE WIZARD OF OZ only to have the book end when Dorothy meets the cowardly lion. Then to find a note at the end from the author to buy book 2 to see how it ends is a slap in the face to the reader.  I hope your other books aren’t written like this. I find it false advertising as well as a way to scam readers. If you don’t have a complete book finished, don’t publish it. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was a sequel, but you should “finish” book 1. Have some closure. Have something that ties up the book and entices the reader to want more, not just put on the brakes and end the book halfway through. (By the way, the 2nd book is out and I have yet to see a newsletter from you offering up book 2 for free to your subscribers).

Upon looking at the reviews on  Goodreads, there are many who are ok with this kind of writing. I am not. When I sit down to read a book, I want the book to end, even if it leaves with the promise of book 2 or 3. You don’t stop it in the middle and then make your reader pay for the rest. There are others who state on Goodreads that the author has several books like this for sale. Shame on Mr. Murphy.

It’s sad. I really liked this book. I was planning on giving it 4 stars. The writing was really good. I was engaged. Murphy clearly has a talent with words. I loved the premise of the book, the ideas of good and evil, good and bad, and how we perceive them. I loved the take on the Greek Gods and how they functioned in our world. I also loved the way Murphy delved into how we are often wrong about 1st impressions of others. I loved learning about Kai and her mythical abilities, but…

It ended, with no closure, with not knowing how Kai could use her powers. Without understanding any of it. Under normal circumstances, I would dive for the next book. As it is, I will not venture into finishing the book because of the way the author fooled me. As a reader, I feel used and abused. Cheated.  I feel the time I took to read the story was taken for granted and twisted to the author’s whim, and he’s scamming me into buying the 2nd half of a book that should have easily been one. He should have finished the book and not split it into parts.

I am not one to give bad reviews, but in this case, I feel the warning is warranted. “Part one of Book One” may not bother some, but to me, it was a HUGE letdown, especially from someone who ‘educates’ other authors on how to write. Like I said, the book would have received 4-stars from me for the writing, but the way the author teased and abused my trust as a reader. I could only give it 2 stars.

5 thoughts on “THE SCARLET THREAD – A dismal review of what could have been excellent

    1. Thank you, Deby. I almost didn’t write the review but I didn’t want other potential readers thinking they were going to get a full version of this book when they weren’t. If they are okay with that, then by all means, buy it and buy book 2. The writing is solid. I just can’t do it on the principle of the thing. Imagine if every author did this? What a shame.


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