Review of The Weaver by Hannah Kindt
by Hannah Kindt
I originally received an eARC from NetGalley, but for reasons that escape me (probably my own incompetence) I forgot to download it. Out of a desire for completionism, I bought a copy of The Weaver so I could read and review it. Although the basic premise is sound and interesting, Heather Kindt’s writing style didn’t work for me. This attempt at a combination of thriller, romance, and fantasy lacks what I enjoy about those three genres.
Laney is a college student writing a historical novel in her spare time. She is accosted by a man who resembles the antagonist of her novel. Gradually, Laney discovers that she is one of a small number of people—Weavers—whose literary works take on a life of their own. Her characters are coming to life, moving from the world of her novel to this “real” world. The antagonist seeks to control the ending of the story, while the protagonist could potentially protect her. There’s also some love triangle stuff happening, although it gets sidelined.
Kindt’s narration is very much of the tell rather than show variety. That isn’t always a bad thing, but in this case I had trouble connecting with the main characters. The characterization feels flat and often very stock. For example:
His best friend grew up, and just looking at her drove him crazy. She was beautiful. Not the high heel, short skirt, plastered on make-up, I’m all that type of beauty he usually dated, and nothing like Jennifer, his current girlfriend. Laney was striking, and she didn’t even know it.
Oh, I get it: she’s not like other girls. Cue my eye rolling.
The ratio of dialogue to narration in this book is very low, but the narration lacks the richness that I prefer in books that take such a tactic. There’s a lot of exposition, and it feels very odd from a third-person limited narrator. Maybe if the book were in the first person? Anyway, this stylistic choice made it difficult for me to enjoy The Weaver in general.
The plot has a nice setup, but there isn’t much payoff. Kindt walks us through a gradual building of tension as Laney discovers more about what it means to be a Weaver. However, it takes way too long for Laney to learn about the Weavers. When we do, the actual conflict seems very mundane. As with the narration, there’s just something about Kindt’s choices here, in terms of how to construct scenes and manage conflict/action/suspense, that doesn’t work for me.
In the end, The Weaver leaves me frustrated and wanting more—not in the good way, though. Don’t even get me started on the love triangle!
Firmly “not for me.”