Home > Uncategorized > Book Review: Sylvianna by Keryl Raist

Book Review: Sylvianna by Keryl Raist

I write books, I lift weights and train others to do the same, I am working on my MBA, I’m getting back into keeping saltwater fish, and I like to spend as much time as I can with my wife and children as possible. Speaking of which, here’s a happy Valentine’s Day call out to my wife – love you honey! In spite of all of that and on top of a 50 hour a week day job I’m also more than willing to do what I can to offer up a helpful review or critique to fellow budding authors. This particular one is Keryl Raist. The book is called Sylvianna.

Sylvianna is Keryl Raist’s first book. As such, it is filled with problems found in many virgin offerings. If there is a backstory to the publishing process Keryl went through I do not think it involved a content editor.

By and large Sylvianna is grammatically beyond reproach. The book read smoothly and the characters were rich and filled with deep backgrounds. Each character also became more developed and interesting as the story progressed, mixing humor with joy, sorrow, and the rest of the range of human experience.

The main character is a strong female type that, while decidedly strong and able to take care of herself, remains a healthy touch of feminism and vulnerability. In short, she’s hard to resist. Her male counterparts, on the other hand, seem largely cut from the same cloth yet with differences both subtle and distinct. My only complaint about the majority of the men in the book are that they are disturbingly metro-sexual. That’s a pure personal preference based out of being old fashioned I suspect. Given the nature of the male lead I likewise found the sex scenes (which became excessive in my opinion) to border on the uncomfortable. The only male character I found largely appealing, the male lead’s brother, was seldom the center of attention.

I’d be remiss if I did not also mention the deep dive into a lot of religious and spiritual matters. I found it interesting at first, though my interest in the topic waned. This is no fault of the books nor of Keryl’s, it is my own lack of interest in the topic.

Sylvianna is nothing if not a well rounded book. On top of colorful characters and a rich background that is slowly unveiled throughout the course of the novel it also hit the other end of the range for this reviewer. The prologue was confusing and begs a separate story in and of itself to flesh it out. Indeed, explanation for it does not come for perhaps a hundred pages or more into the story itself, and even then it gets little more than a passing reference.

Speaking of several hundred pages, the book dragged on. It is unfair to offer a full review of it, and anybody reading this would do well to take that into consideration. The length caused me to lose interest repeatedly, and after several such attempts to take it up anew I decided I owed Keryl a review in a timely manner more than I owed it to myself to satisfy my waning interest in seeing how it actually ended.

With all that said I strongly believe that any future books written by Keryl Raist will be worth pursuing. I would not recommend this one to a friend or colleague, but I would recommend people keep an eye out for future work from her in the hopes that she overcomes the mistakes in this first one.

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