I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth is a book with a lot of potential. The plot is an interesting and refreshing take on the old fairy tales about changelings and the author does a decent job of keeping the story moving while laying down a lot of framework for the world her characters inhabit. If the writing fails anywhere, it’s that it feels like we are offered too much information at the beginning. The characters, for the most part, are well developed and each have their own unique voice, which the author uses to tell the story from multiple perspectives. The author also manages to avoid one of my pet peeves in YA fiction, she doesn’t completely forget about the adults in her world as soon as the trouble starts. The main character, Edna, only sets off on her own after unsuccessfully trying to get help from her neighbor, her mother and several police officers. The book did have several issues though, which kept me from giving it a higher rating.
To start off we have the protagonist, Edna, who is a naive, but very determined fifteen year old girl, and it just doesn't work. I think in an effort to attract an older audience, the author chose to portray Edna as a teenager, but her character really only works as a preteen or younger. Perhaps if she had been shown to have grown up in a very sheltered and coddled environment it could have been successfully pulled off, but she didn’t. An example of this is shortly after her brother, Harrison, explodes. Not able to convince her neighbor that she’s telling the truth and incapable of gaining access to her mother, she decides to go to the police, but this is her thought process:
Once, when Lord Waxman had driven his motorcar to the ice cream parlor, a beggar had scratched the paint. An officer had found the culprit and had sent him to prison.
The police would help her.
That is not the thought process of a fifteen year old, that’s the thought process of someone much younger. As for the multiple perspectives, I think the author went a little overboard. If the POVs had just been kept to those of Harrison and Edna that would have been enough. Instead we get thrust into Ike’s POV, which was totally unnecessary. Which brings me to another point, the romance between Ike and Edna, where did that come from? It was completely unnecessary and felt extremely forced in the narrative. Like I said before, this book has a great deal of potential and with a little more editing and the removal of the totally unnecessary romance angle, could be a 3 1/2 star book.
I gave this book three stars.