Book Review: “Farsighted” by Emlyn Chand (Farsighted #1)

Title: Farsighted (Click on this link or the book cover to add it to your Goodreads!)

Author: Emlyn Chand (You can follow her on Twitter, too!)

Available In: eBook for KindlePaperback.

Maturity Level: Recommended for 13+. Some gore, violence, and kissing, but little to no sexual content.

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS AND STRONG OPINIONS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

I’ve been reading a lot of self-pubs on my Kindle app recently, and I have to say that so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the selections that I’ve made. Sure, there were a couple of duds, books that I could only stand about a chapter of— the stereotypical “bad” self-pubs, complete with bad formatting, an apparent lack of any sort of editor, and a definite lack of any real sales potential.

Then, there are books like Angelfall and Farsighted—books that you could totally see showing up on a bookstore shelf and actually being better than 75% of their genre. These are books that have been self-published because that is part of the author’s artistic vision (see this post by  Chand) rather than being self-pubbed because there is absolutely NO CHANCE of a major press EVER accepting them. The latter is what self publishing has become (and also, what people tend to think when they sit down to read an indie); the former is what self-publishing was to begin with and what it should continue to be.

That said, on with the review!

Alex Kosmitoras is an abnormal guy in a depressingly normal situation: his parents are struggling financially, and there’s a bully who seems to have it out for him no matter what. On top of that, he’s blind—and, apparently, able to “see” the future. Simmi is the new girl from India, who is not only the friendliest, most accepting person Alex has ever met, but also has powers of her own. Alex is starting to think that this is actually going to be okay—that he has a shot of being friends with Simmi (and maybe more)—when he starts having visions of Simmi dying in various terrible ways and vows to stop it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It paints a lovely tableau of multiculturalism against a small-town background; as someone who lives in a truly tiny town, I can appreciate this. Chand also manages to twine the paranormal element neatly into Alex’s everyday issues with school, parents, etc while drawing on mythological elements that made the 13-year-old-me-who-read-Edith-Wharton’s-Mythology-obsessively-for-about-a-year incredibly happy. There were points where the pacing seemed a little slow, but there were also times when I literally couldn’t put it down. It’s definitely a book that I’d recommend to people who are tired of the vampire/werewolves/angels that tend to overpopulate YA paranormals.

 

Pros

  • Alex’s POV. I have a weakness for blind protagonists, especially those that are still major badasses. Which Alex definitely is.
  • Simmi. I kind of fell a bit in love with her right alongside Alex, which made her a wonderful romantic lead for the book.
  • Shapri. I might have fallen in love with Simmi, but I would definitely be more like Shapri. I liked how Chand handled her reluctance to admit to her gifts, and I loved that she was not “the bad guy” in Simmi and Alex’s relationship just because she had a bit of a crush on Alex. Nice.
  • The runes and how they connect to the story. I’m actually incredibly interested in runes/tarot, so I loved reading the description of each rune and then figuring out how it connected to the chapter I was reading.
  • Caffeine-assisted visions! I love explorations of how drugs/chemicals would affect theoretical psychic powers.
  • The multicultural viewpoint. ❤

Cons

  • Some of the transitions were a little choppy.
  • Occasionally, Alex fails to take action that moves the plot along and waits for other people to move it along instead. It seems just a little OOC, since he spends the majority of the book being a badass, but it wasn’t enough to disrupt the book entirely, so it’s all good.

Star Rating on Goodreads/Final Grade: 3.75 stars, rounded up for GR. A-. Would reread, will definitely read other books in series.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emlyn Chand
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 22:19:57

    Thanks for the great review, Em. I’m very flattered to be listed among the likes of Susan Ee and other authors who self-publish because they want to 😉 I love the structure of your review style as well. I’m a structure geek, which you may have guess from reading Farsighted 😉

    If you’d like to receive an ARC of the next book in the series (Open Heart, due out in May), just visit my website and sign-up for the newsletter at http://www.emlynchand.com. Also if you’d be willing to cross-post this review to Amazon and GoodReads, you will be my best friend for life! Yes, I’m prone to hyperbole, but I mean it too!

    Emlyn

    Reply

    • Em
      Feb 21, 2012 @ 05:05:02

      You’re welcome! I enjoyed the book very much, and wanted to do it justice with my review. As for the structure of my reviews, that comes from being highly DISorganized– I take notes as I read because otherwise things would get totally lost in the maze that is my brain :3

      Nothing wrong with being a structure geek! The rune-structure was, as I mentioned, one of my favorite parts of Farsighted 🙂

      And yes, I have signed up and can’t wait to read the next book! Crossposts are also done!

      Reply

  2. Jim from YA Yeah Yeah
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 06:09:02

    Great review! I’m definitely interested in checking this one out, and I thought the post you linked to by Emlyn was really thought-provoking as well.

    By the way, I love the pros/cons sections in your review, really good way for readers to get information at a glance.

    Reply

    • Em
      Feb 21, 2012 @ 18:01:30

      Thank you! I quite liked Emlyn’s post on the subject– it’s nice to see that sort of passion and thought put into indie publishing :3

      and thanks! I’ve been playing around with the structure of my reviews lately and have even considered putting in a less spoilery pros/cons summary somewhere near the top– by the time I get to my P’s and C’s at the bottom I’m usually well into spoiler-land 🙂

      Reply

      • Emlyn Chand (@emlynchand)
        Feb 21, 2012 @ 18:07:19

        Oh, I have a suggestion actually! I used to review books for the paper (before the books section got cut, and I was out on my butt). Anyhoo, I adopted a review style similar to yours without containing any real spoilers. I started with a book preview and ended with “you may like this book if” and “you may not like this book if.” People responded really well to it. Here’s an example (it’s the review I wrote for my favorite book) – http://www.emlynchand.com/2011/01/book-review-a-prayer-for-owen-meany-by-john-irving-one-of-the-best-youll-ever-read/

      • Em
        Feb 21, 2012 @ 18:16:12

        Ooh, I do like that. I REALLY like being able to discuss spoilers with people who have read the book I’m reviewing…. simply because I love to fangirl over the cool parts… but I’d also like to be able to give a better preview for those who haven’t read the book and don’t want to be spoiled. Also, I try to keep my Goodreads and Amazon reviews spoiler free.

        Basically, thank you! You’ve given me an idea that will probably help me tidy up my summary/spoilerlite review. I won’t use it exactly, because I wouldn’t want to swipe your review style, but I might replace my 2-3 paragraphs of rambling before I get into the actual summary/review with something similar. :3

        (My local paper doesn’t even have a book section. Trust me, I checked. I hate that people in general don’t read that much anymore :P)

      • Emlyn Chand (@emlynchand)
        Feb 21, 2012 @ 18:18:21

        Yay! I helped! Don’t worry about swiping my review style if you want to. Your style is super cool, and the fan girl rambling is part of what makes it that way. You could code a MORE box to hide the spoiler parts and prompt people to click the arrow to expand it, then you could cater easily to both parties. Maybe?

      • Em
        Feb 21, 2012 @ 18:26:41

        That’s what I used to do on LJ, where I could use cuts– I’m still getting acquainted with WordPress, so there’s a lot I haven’t figured out yet. I have been thinking about using cuts/more boxes, however. I just need to take a day to sit down and really figure out my coding.

        Hee, I understand. I don’t have avatars on all of my accounts either, and it always bothers me when a blank box or gray face comes up on my screen 😛

      • Emlyn Chand (@emlynchand)
        Feb 21, 2012 @ 18:29:24

        Well, keep me posted. I’ve formed an unhealthy obsession with this 😉

  3. Emlyn Chand (@emlynchand)
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 18:18:41

    PS I was sick of being avatarless 😦

    Reply

  4. Trackback: Blog Tour: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand – Review + Giveaway! « My Life is a Notebook

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