My editor sent me an ARC of a big-buzz biblical historic novel about to hit the shelves, and I read it last night. As I've promised not to trash other authors, I won't mention the title or name of the author, but my opinion of this gem can be distilled down into a single, strangled word:
Outside of being a muddy, badly-constructed clone of The Red Tent, the novel offers not a single redeeming quality. The writing was stilted and often just plain bizarre. If there was a plot, it was printed in invisible ink; I never caught a glimpse of it. By page three I didn't care about the characters and by page twenty I actively hated them. When the lousy ending arrived, I already had my pom poms out and was doing cartwheels while cheering for it. The biggest disappointment: The protagonist survived.
My prediction on this one? The critics will absolutely love it. Readers, eh. I think readers want more than this. In a way it's reassuring and quite motivating, as I know I can do better than this. Which is what I'm off to do right now.