Navigating your feelings through your first love is hard enough, but for Thymen and Karen, two Dutch teenagers, the added distraction of discovering that they possess powers no one else in the world, never mind their school, has to worry about only makes it harder.
“For a fraction of a second I thought I saw flashes of purple lightning surround her, and then a wall of force exploded from her body, lifting me off the ground and knocking me into a tree.”
At just 77 pages, Repulsion is a quick read, aided by Jeroen Steenbeeke’s clean and tidy prose. Although the dialogue was ungainly in parts, overall the author keeps a good rhythm to his work as the story progressed rapidly.
Despite the short length, Steenbeeke packs in a lot. The relationship between the two main characters develops, although at what feels like a rushed pace, and his supernatural plot unfolds well. There can be no accusation of filler material and with so little to read, there’s no time to get bored, which is great for a target market of teens and young adults.
Ultimately, though, the brevity of his story works against him. Many angles of the story and the love affair seem undeveloped or glossed over: obstacles are overcome easily, magical powers are accepted and mastered as suddenly as they appear and mysteries are solved with ease thanks to a slightly too clever friend.
My concern with many self-published books is that they seem like works in progress, and that appears to be the case here. Although the story shows a lot of promise, it reads like an early draft that needs reworking, redeveloping and, most importantly, having more depth and layers added.
Repulsion is the first book in a five-tome series and while that gives time for character depth to appear, I’d rather see more work done on this section before moving on with the series.