The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 (Volume 1) - G. L. Carriger

I wanted to love this book. In theory I really should have loved this book. But I just...didn't. I suspect part of this is due to the fact this was my introduction to Carriger's universe, and the world-building just isn't there. I spent the front chunk of the book feeling like I was missing a lot, and trying to decode what I can tell is an elaborate world filled with critters and magics. I will say I was intrigued enough I'm interested in going back and trying her first series.

 

It wasn't just the world-building though. It was the way everyone talked. If you like puns and innuendos this will amuse you to no end. If, however, you find that sort of thing annoying this will drive you crazy. It's sort of like the book equivalent of someone waggling their eyebrows and saying, "that's what she said" for 300 pages. Toss in some instalove and I just couldn't stand it whenever the main characters talked (or had an interior monologue, which is often). It's hard to cheer for a romance when you're cringing through every verbal exchange. I also felt like the pacing was a bit weird. The characters jump right into the sex early on, and the later chapters set that aside and go for a more serious plot line and leave the sexy romping behind. I'd have preferred to have more plot throughout, and the sex scenes interspersed more evenly rather than back to back (no pun intended) before pretty much vanishing. Again, maybe that's just my preference.

 

For me the issues were writing craft ones more than anything. (Pacing, world-building, dialogue, etc.) The pieces were there, they just weren't put together well. For example, we get some good character development, but it comes late in the book and gets undercut but snarky one-liners. It means that if you read between the lines, or over certain things, you can have a very different interpretation of this story. You can fill in blanks and make it great, if your imagination so desires, but that isn't really what is on the page. This is not going to bother a lot of people, and that's fine. For me it read a lot like fanfic, which again, isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the end it just wasn't to my taste. I really like the idea of a gay werewolf story with a diverse cast, I just didn't like the way this one was put together.