I was asked to do a book review of Felix Alexander’s The Romantic in exchange for a free copy of the eBook.
I must preface this review with a few warnings. First, I do not read books electronically – this was my first time. I still prefer the feel, smell and weight of holding a book in my hands. Secondly, romance is not a genre that I read very often, so I am by no means an expert.
Enough about me. I won’t get into the plot of the story. For that you can visit Amazon and read the book’s summary.
Let’s start with what I liked. I really liked the premise of Hadriel’s journey with the angel of death. A wonderful idea and I think it was well executed at the beginning and end of the story. I wish that it had been intertwined throughout the novel because it was the best part of the book, certainly the most interesting element.
I also liked that Alexander stuck to the literary conventions that one expects from a literary romance. These plot conventions include missed opportunities and enduring, unfulfilled love. It is a bit depressing, certainly, but this is how the romance genre has been written for ages and I like that Alexander stuck to these conventions.
I want to take a moment to talk about the setting. I preferred the way Alexander wrote about South America to the United States. When Hadriel was in South America it seemed timeless. I wasn’t exactly sure what time period the novel was in, and I liked that. When Hadriel went to the United States, however, this allure immediately disappeared and I found the setting stopped assisting with the flow of the story. It certainly didn’t deter from the flow, but the parts that were written about South America were better.
One thing that I really didn’t like at all was the poetic prose that was used throughout the novel. The prose was so poetic, actually, that I would hesitate to recommend it to friends as a novel. I would have to call it a poetic novel. This is a down side for a reader like myself, who prefers realistic dialogue and narrative voice. I found myself thinking “who talks like that”? This is a source of personal taste, though, and by no means a serious flaw in Alexander’s writing. I don’t know if he has written poetry in the past, but I imagine if he has it is quite excellent. If he hasn’t he should consider it.
Simply because of the poetic prose I have to give this novel a 3 out of 5. However, if you like poetic prose then you likely won’t agree with me and will probably love The Romantic.