Puppet

Puppet - Pauline C Harris

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

 

This is a strange book and difficult to rate. However, after a lot of thought I realised where the problem lies: what we have here is, in effect, the first draft of what would be a four-and-a-half or five-star novel.

 

Good things first. Puppet is the story of a "human marionette", a girl of sixteen, seventeen, who has been subjected to a series of operations which endow her with the superhuman strength and speed of a robot yet who still has the human attributes that no marionette, no robot, can ever possess. The author tells the whole story from the girl's point of view (certainly the right decision) and does this so convincingly that the reader cannot help but identify completely with Pen (Penelope). Her utterly bizarre situation is made so easy to imagine yourself in. You wonder how such a thing can possibly be happening, but it is, and your horror grows along with hers.

 

On the downside though, none of the other characters is remotely convincing and because of that, the basic plot, the basic premise, doesn't hold together. Or should that be, because the basic plot, the basic premise, doesn't hold together, none of the other characters is remotely convincing? It is not only the feasibility and the desirability of turning a girl into a marionette, there is a tacked-on sub-plot involving a helpless heiress who is at the same time "the most powerful person in the country".

 

And then there is the question of the title – and even of the author. The title is "Puppet", yet the word "puppet" is not used of Pen once in the whole book so far as I recall. Why not? "Marionette" would not have been nearly so good a title, right. But why not use the much more powerful word "puppet" throughout the book?

 

And the author's name appears in my Kindle not as Pauline C. Harris but as Kellie Sheridan.

 

And the Contents page is a mess.

 

As I said, a very promising first draft that now needs rewriting.