The Malevolent Twin by Mary Sage Nguyen

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A murderous wicked twin.

An innocent, law abiding, and oblivious girl.

The ultimate brawl between contrasting sisters!

Murder, mystery, suspense and more

In The Malevolent Twin

Avery is a normal teenager, except for Venice. Venice is Avery’s imaginary friend or so she thinks. When the two begin to fight. Avery starts her investigation, to figure out what Venice really is. She encounters a wise old exorcist, and an albino psychic who assist her, with attempting to remove Venice. Which comes too late as Venice goes on a murdering rampage using Avery’s body. Does Avery survive the Wrath of Venice?

Find out in… The Malevolent Twin

Rating: ★★

I grabbed this book without both hands, it sounded dark and twisted and I was sure to be in for a dark ride. Even as I write this review, I have mixed feelings and I don’t know whether I’m just really frustrated. The book itself isn’t long- just under 40,000 words- so its a light read and easy to get through.

The story needs work.

I have to take a breather now, because- how do I put this down in words?- behind the jumble that I got, there is a brilliant story behind it. I could see it popping it’s head out every so often in little well-crafted details that I could tell that Mary went off and researched before writing, but they needed to be built upon, and needed great characters to go with it, but we don’t get either, and I wanted to through my Mac across the room in anger.

The idea behind The Malevolent Twin is pure brilliance, and I wanted to love it and adore it because it’s right up my street. Something sinister and dark actually living inside you. Give me the popcorn I’m in the front-row!

When Avery is cradling her mother’s dead body, I didn’t feel the anguish or loss than I’m supposed to feel as a reader. The characters didn’t come to life. Complete strangers, who just sat beside one another in a bookshop just exchange numbers without reason, like humans do that in real life. I just couldn’t see them as real people.

Detailing is also an issue I had, conversations are slapped together without any details of who was talking, what the characters are doing or how they are feeling while saying the sentences. It was hard to follow as I had to read some conversations a few times to figure out who was saying what.

POV changes is also something that annoyed me. DO NOT DO IT! This book was about Avery and Venice, not about anyone else. We don’t get a little snippet of all the other characters as they do something that isn’t important to the overall story, and even when it was…IT SHOULDN’T BE DONE. There is one main POV, and that is it. You cannot jump between people just for the sake of the story. It doesn’t work like that.

A book’s ending is the biggest kicker for me. The book can be mediocre all the way through, but if the ending is brilliant, it tends to turn me around to the book as a whole. The ending of The Malevolent Twin [don’t worry, I wont give it away] but it needed more to it. It was a major deal for Avery to go through and we never got her insight or her feelings, it felt rushed when it needed to be slowed down and giving more detail and more emphasis. Also the last two chapters shouldn’t have been there.

On a final note, I think the construction and the execution of this whole book failed miserably. We read about pointless-less-than-200-word conversations that we could have done without. Then major scenes that control the whole outcome of the ending of this book, and we don’t even get to read about it. The author failed to balance the weight properly with all her scenes. At the start I started to lose patience as we went day-in and day-out of the MC’s [Avery’s] life without any reason to it. Ultimately- I think- this is what killed it for me.

But the very last sentence of the book was pulled of thin air! Those few words were a great leading line for the sequel. I do need to applaud Mary for, it was a very good last line.


The reason behind giving it two stars?

One because I finished it, and one because the story that was trying to break through was pure brilliance, and I could have loved it- if it was given the time to breathe and be edited properly.


SPOTLIGHT 

  • What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing? 

I began to write at twenty one, and I was inspired to write by my muse. Long story short, I love writing, and cannot imagine a better hobby.

  • When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?

When I shared my ebook which, I first published with smashwords. A family member called thrilled, that I was now a published author. Once, I got approval from my family. I knew, I was a wordsmith. Too be honest, my dad’s recognition was the best of all. I shoved my book in his face, after a recent visit home, and he was shocked! His infatuation with my book, was the best part about writing.

  • Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

Of course, I do!

When I lived by a lake, I just like to go there, and write a lot. I can write anywhere though.

  • Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write? 

Sometimes, I listen to music, or I drink a little and get buzz then start writing.  

  • Where do the ideas for your books come from?

My dreams, and muse. I have very strange dreams that become really good stories. I dreamed about a vampire, who made a terminally ill boy immortal. It was a good dream. I made into Uriel’s Absolution. I feel the arch angel was a better fit. The vampire genre is over populated, in my humble opinion.

  • What books have most inspired you? 

Well, I know this sounds silly. Seeing what a big hit Fifty Shades of Grey became inspired me. Although, I am no E.L James.

  • What inspires you the most?

Writing is an art. I love creating. My mother was my inspiration. When I was writing The Malevolent Twin. I wanted her to someway be immortal. A book was the perfect way to do so.

  • Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? 

I have a problem with being meticulous, when it comes to describing objects, places, people, and so forth. I need to stop being so descriptive. But then how can the reader in vision what I am writing about?

  • What do you think makes a good story? 

Great conflict, and dialogue. These are essential in every good story. You need conflict, and you need dialogue.

  • Tell us a little bit about your book(s), your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your story. 

My targeted audience is the young adult crowd. I want the reader to be entertained, but also understand being kind to your sibling goes a long way. In the story Venice, is constantly being disrespected by Avery. Be kind to your siblings, you share a bond no one else does.

  • Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you? 

I like Avery’s character because she is the picture of Asian Americans. Struggling to make their way in the world.

  • Why did you pick your particular genre? 

I picked the suspense, mystery, young adult, and psychological thriller for The Malevolent Twin. I like these genres because this is what the book is about. It leads you on a dark, and suspenseful journey. In the end you find out about a supernatural you never knew about. 

  • What have you learned creating this book? 

I have learned everything! I expanded my vocabulary, and my confidence. I learned about the basics of photoshop, and adobe indesign. I learned that a dream can become a reality. I learned about making a book cover, and book formatting. All the little tedious details, that readers are unconcerned about, with the making of a paperback book. You have to be persistent to publish a book.

  • What makes your books different from others out there in this genre? 

For one the antagonist Venice is new. I wanted to create something entertaining, and different for readers to wrap their brains around. Maybe even perk their interest in parasitic twins.

  • Where can we find you? (Links to anywhere you’re okay with fans connecting with you.) 

Definitely, twitter! I use twitter quite a bit. I tweet quotes, and things I find interesting. Feel free to follow, and tweet me.

www.twitter.com/marysagenguyen1

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