Not so very long ago, A Reader's Respite found ourselves at home with a few hours of spare time on our hands. Feeling industrious, we drove into town to meet a Bloggy Friend for lunch. After a wonderful greasy feast (the Bleu Baron: a marvelous concoction of roast beef on sourdough with a bleu cheese dressing), our Bloggy Friend surreptitiously slid a novel across the table towards us.
Now to be fair, she did give us fair warning. But did we heed that warning?
Oh nooooooooooooooooooo. We did not.
No, being the historical fiction fanatic we are, A Reader's Respite dove headfirst into this novel of Tudor England. Admit it, you'd do the same.
Now there are plenty of book reviewers out there who go out of their way to find some good in even the worst book.
A Reader's Respite is not one of those reviewers.
This was a bad, bad book and we aren't afraid to say so. This book was so horrible that we're not sure how to convey this level of bad-ness. Allow us to offer a synopsis:
Heir Apparent, despite being an attempt at historical fiction, is actually set in the future. We begin the story sometime in the latter half of this century in London. Kaitlyn and Colin, museum curators of the future, time-travel back to the court of King Henry VIII in order to....well, we're still not precisely sure what they were doing there, but it had something to do with preserving the Tudor bloodline and securing an heir for the throne in 21st century.
Life in the future, as presented in this novel, is painfully conveyed via dialogue throughout the story...
"I got home late last night and forgot to zap the battery-plate with the ultra-violet recharge light."
Heir Apparent, p. 42
"...unless you want to use the safe-solar chamber to dry, tan, and moisturize. It only takes a couple of seconds."
Heir Apparent, p. 59
How do they manage the time travel to Tudor England? We're so glad you asked....
"This is what I call my B.T.E. Remote, which is short for Bending Time Electrically. Basically, this 'television remote' if you will...can bend time with you in it, and send you to and from different places in time."
Heir Apparent, p. 8-9
Okay, perhaps we're being a bit picky in the science department. After all, this is a work of fiction.
But when the characterizations, plot and dialogue are just as awful, the entire novel becomes a train wreck that you just cannot turn away from.
Once our erstwhile heroes actually arrive in Tudor England, they immediately run into Henry VIII and the evil Queen Anne. Henry, the randy royal, wants nothing more than to screw every female in his direct line of sight, while Anne engages in hair-pulling, bitch-slapping, knockdown, dragout catfights with her 21st century rival Caitlyn.
The rest of the story pretty much encapsulates Caitlyn and Colin's attempts to get back to their own time with their heads intact. We have no idea whether or not they actually achieved their initial objective. Things were fuzzy by the time we reached the end of this 350-page disaster.
The moral of this review?
A. You can be traumatized by bad historical fiction, and
B. Never, ever borrow a book from Misfit. :p
A Reader's Respite and At Home With a Good Book and the Cat suffer from Sour Milk Syndrome. You know, that's when you open up a bad carton of milk, smell it, and immediately tell the person closest to you, "Ewwwww, smell this."
In that grand tradition, we are offering this book up to you. If you want to see for yourself (and you know you do) how bad historical fiction can be, tell us so and on October 30th, we'll draw one random winner.
C'mon, it'll be fun!