Ellora’s Cave [link to buy]
Rating: 1 out of 5 paddles
Deja Brew by Mardi Ballou is a story with great potential that, unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to. Lisa and Jack are lovers and business partners trying to talk a witch into allowing their company to market a radically new potion she’s devised, deja brew. The potion can transport the drinker’s mind to a time in their own past to experience it again, fresh. Dora, the witch, has concerns about mass marketing such a potion and the general public’s ability to deal with seeing the past in perfect clarity as opposed to through the haze of memory. The conflict erupts when it becomes clear that Jack and Lisa are taking Dora’s concerns in totally different lights.
I have no complaints about the purely technical aspects of Ms. Ballou’s writing. There are no awkward word choices, or glaring errors in format of spelling to distract the reader from the story. The problem is the story itself. It just doesn’t sing, if you will. Throughout the 80 or so pages of ebook, the reader is left with the impression of actors dutifully going through their lines and actions, but with no passion or energy. I felt no affinity for the characters; there was nothing that made me care about whether Lisa or Jack would stay together. I didn’t even care whether the potion would eventually be marketed or not.