Jacob’s Folly is about a Jewish guy who dies in 1770’s France and is reincarnated as a fly in the present day.
WHY I PICKED IT UP:
The cover grabs the eye with the incongruity of a nasty fly on the nipple of a painted renaissance virgin. From there, the dust jacket sounded like a book I could enjoy—literary, fantastic, and not entirely too serious.
WHERE/WHY I STOPPED:
I read to the end of the sample and I enjoyed it. After being reincarnated as a flying, winged, omniscient thing, our main character (who does not yet realize he is a fly and believes himself to be an angel) comes into contact with another character about whom he instantly knows everything. From there he assumes the reason for his continued earthly existence must be in some way tied to this man and attempts to follow him.
It is entertaining and well written, if a bit verbose, and I was interested the whole time I read it.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER, IF ANYTHING:
With all that said, there’s one major problem: We haven’t got a plot. Like, not at all. No cause and effect beyond the very loose one of die in Paris, wake up a telepathic fly.
I like what the author’s doing with the whole ‘fly on the wall’ ‘third person omniscient narrator’ thing—it’s a great theme that bears exploring, yet it’s never occurred to me and I’ve never seen anyone else do it either.
But until there’s a plot, there’s just nothing to keep me in the story. For those of you self publishing, take this to heart: ALWAYS reveal at least the first bit of the plot before your sample ends. You don’t have to expose the whole thing, but leave your character (and thereby your readers) with a goal toward which they want to strive. THEN end the sample before they can achieve that goal.
Otherwise this is a well written book with a lot of promise and a strong premise.
I like the way things are going, but there’s nothing to invest in yet. We don’t know any of these characters’ goals yet and there’s almost no conflict, so it’s kind of just treading water at this point. Thus, I don’t feel the NEED to keep reading.
But as always, don’t take my word for it—check out the sample for Jacob’s Folly and tell me what you thought! Leave a comment!