Monday Review: The Nazarene Sect


This author has been turning out novella-length works at the rate of at least one a year since 2008, in varying genres and of varying quality. The Nazarene Sect is by no means the worst of these; it is, however, the most disappointing.
Disappointing because the premise – a time-traveller with amnesia teams up with a girl who can see demons and they try to put the world to rights – has potential for greatness. Unfortunately it fails to deliver in an epic way.
First off, there are the three unnecessary prologues, all of which ultimately turn out to be completely unrelated to the rest of the story; then, somewhere in the middle, the author seems to have lost the plot (literally) and gone to Africa for absolutely no reason whatsoever, before coming back to Europe for a hurried and unsatisfying finale.
The author does seem to have put some effort into world-building, but rather than integrate it into the story, it is gratuitously info-dumped anywhere and everywhere, to the point where I’m sure the phrase ‘As you know, Bob,’ is actually used despite there not having been a Bob in the narrative before then.
In fact, for all the initial promise of fascinating world-building, that section set in Uganda could just as easily have taken place in Nuneaton, or better yet left out entirely, because it adds nothing to the story.
It perhaps wouldn’t be so bad if I could work out whether the author was trying to make a serious point about the state of the world, or was playing the whole thing for laughs, as the style drifts from one extreme to the other almost as erratically as the story itself, which starts out as Buffy meets Doctor Who, and after it’s little safari turns into a crime caper, but in the final chapter turns out to have been a love story after all.
Basically, a good idea wasted by not knowing what it wanted to be, and as a result ending up about 30,000 words too long.

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