Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank

When Angie alerted us to the marketing efforts for this first book from Jacquelyn Frank, I could not resist the promise of new, powerful voice in romance. Given that I purchased it straight away, I’d have to say their marketing campaign was more effective than most. Having read it, I’d say they nearly made good on their promise.

Frank does have a voice that appeals. And stands out. It brings to mind the striking prose of Shelby Reed, although a side-by-side comparison would easily reveal Frank as the newbie. Like Reed however, you get that sense that Frank painstakingly chose each word, each phrase to maximize imagery. As if Frank’s goal was to engage all of our senses at once. I wasn’t blown away by her words, but I definitely felt their potential. I felt Frank’s effort. When that effort becomes transparent and her prose more rhythmic, Frank will have few rivals.

Aside from the clunkiness—those instances where Frank applied too heavy a hand to analogies and other descriptive tools—Jacob was a great read. Frank scored with wonderful characterization and an original alternate world inhabited by ‘Nightwalkers’.

On characterization…

Little time elapses during the course of this story and its events are paced accordingly. This means that readers are afforded lots of getting-to-know-you time with Jacob and Isabella. Despite their stereotypical fate-driven union, Frank doesn’t shortchange their romance. There is caution, hope, humor and electricity. This book IS their story; everything else—the world building, conflict and series setup—blends well enough so as not to distract from the romance. A huge score for Frank in my mind.

On the paranormal elements, or world building…

Frank’s alternate reality is unique and interesting. And she deftly uses Isabella’s background as a librarian to bring that world forward naturally. The introduction into Jacob’s world is not stilted or staged; it is learned. That approach gave me the sense that Frank didn’t expect flat out acceptance of her world. Instead, she provoked my need for knowledge, drawing me in. It also strengthened the overall telling of the story. Frank let her characters reveal the world; she didn’t waste words upfront clueing the reader in on this alternate world and all of its nuances. Oh, and Isabella’s destined place in Jacob’s world is the twist that challenges the remaining stereotypes in this genre. Very cool.

So, overall, I enjoyed Jacob very much. It did take me several days to read and, at least initially, that left me a bit conflicted about my opinion of the book. It was that clunkiness I mentioned that spurred doubt. But after a few days, as the characters lingered (love that), I decided that Jacob is a book I’d easily recommend to friends.


  1. I've been so on the fence about this one for weeks. I'm not a vamp lover, but the story just sounds so compelling. I keep coming back to it and looking at it. Hmmmm, you know me so well. Will I like it?

  2. I wanna read this one. Darn it. You all keep adding to my pile and I don't have time to read right now... argh

  3. Oh, and can I say, there have been lots of blog posts about covers lately. Do they make you lean towards buying a book or the other way? This cover? Beautiful. I absolutely love it. I think it's part of what keeps me coming back to look at this book.

  4. I'm going out on that limb and just saying it...Lori, you should at least try this book. There, dusting hands together, how is that for a rec? LOL

    And because Anne has no time to read right now, how bout I send this to you first? Good with you Anne?

    And nope, hardly notice covers. Really. But since you mention it, this one is very nice.

  5. I hardly ever notice covers either. Unless they are truly awful or truly beautiful. This one is truly beautiful :)

  6. I have read this book and I loved it so much. I loved that the main female characters were in the middle of the action.

    I have read messages on many sites today by people bemoaning that it's all paranormal romance at the moment and this couldn't be further from the truth. Just go into your local romance book store and find out.

    This book is a wonderful example of it's genre and I can only praise the author. Hope you all love it as much as I did.

  7. P.S I am glad you guys liked this novel as much as I did. Thank you for understanding my need to express my frustration. Sorry :)


Have you read it? What do you think?

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