Negative Space, by Mike Robinson
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
169 pages, Kindle Edition
Published August 2013
(Original Publ: 2006)
Unfortunately this novel thoroughly disappointed me. Its description gave me high hopes that it would be a lovely piece of oddball, cult, B-grade fiction, but instead it was just a general mess. The publisher had also advertised automatic approval for future titles on NetGalley upon any review, but apparently that did not include negative ones.
The writing was inconsistent. In rare moments when the story became its most philosophical in discussing art and humanity it would shine. But for the most part the writing style is awkward and forced, filled with cringe worthy similes and metaphors that are simply ill chosen, written not for their bearing to the characters or themes, but simply because one should go in, as incongruous as it may be.
More difficult to get past, however, is just the mess of various threads the extremely short novel tries to take on. The opening chapter is never adequately explained, nor are many of the other ‘events’ that occur at the climax of this book, even through the closing chapters that sort of continue on although nothing much more will occur of substance.
On the plus side, Robinson’s characters are all compelling and unique. With some better editing, expansion, and tightening of the plot this could have easily succeeded, but in this form it did little to impress.