Series: Elfin, #1
Publisher: Quinn Loftis Books
Genre: Fantasy YA
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Cassie Tate, a high school senior, stumbles upon elves one evening at her dad’s work. An elf hunts her because she saw them in their true forms. Trick, the chasing elf, quickly finds that Cassie is his Chosen, his soulmate. Cassie is baffled by the existence of elves. While he comes to grips with a human being his Chosen, he must continue his work for his king, which involves the purchase of fertile land. Will he be able to keep Cassie’s love and remain loyal to the Dark King? Elfin, by Quinn Loftis, is a cheesy book about soulmates, drugs, and good vs. evil.
I think I bought this ebook in the first year of me owning an e-reader (it had a different cover then), and I finally decided to read it. It was cheap, and this is one novel where the quality is also cheap. I was excited to read something about elves outside of Lord of the Rings, but this book is like some of the poorly written fanfiction I have read. The book requires editing for all of the typos and grammar mistakes, but it also needs to be revised to help world building, plot, and characters.
The odd thing is that there is too much telling, yet there is not enough information in the telling. Loftis tells everything through the characters’ thoughts, but she gives little description about the characters or the setting.
Loftis has not built this world well. “Light” and “dark” correspond with “good” and “evil,” and my disappointment with it could be overlooked if the rest of the book was better. It is another good vs. evil story, but there is apparently nothing wrong with the Light Elves. Then we learn almost nothing about the elves’ realm even though Cassie spends about a third of the book in it. She travels to different places within it, but we know little of what it looks like, what is in it, or how anything in society works. Issues of society and politics cannot be ignored just because there are kings and queens involved. You can bow and be loyal, but there is not enough explanation for how anything else works. Throwing in random animals and beings who control fate does not make up for the lack of world-building. One final issue with how Loftis builds this world is the glossary at the beginning of the book. The words are defined, but they are never defined within the story. I like having a glossary, but the word should be defined in some way at some point in the book.
The characters are not unique from each other. Elora, her mother, and the Queen of the Light Elves all seem to have the same personality. The only difference between them is appearance. Cassie and Trik are underdeveloped and fake. Cassie has little will of her own, and her world suddenly became all about one boy. Nothing else mattered to her. Trik is supposed to be the deadliest and most fearsome assassin (who enjoys what he does), but nothing in his behavior or thoughts supports him being someone who loves killing. Grabbing a boy by the throat because he is jealous is weak support for claiming he is an assassin. For being so bent towards evil, he does mostly whatever Cassie tells him to do when it comes to choosing good or evil. The worse part is that Trick is the most developed character, by far.
I also do not like the characters’ reactions to certain events. Even though some characters know about the elves, their reactions seem unrealistic. Cassie’s reaction to a couple of people knowing about elves and not calling her crazy was belated and spurious. For certain information and the appearance of the elves being life-or-death, the nobility seem unconcerned what they reveal to humans. They are nonchalant about it.
The relationship between Trik and Cassie, though strongly insta-love (on the annoying, immature track), cannot be a deep, strong connection and “fragile.” Betrayal would certainly be damaging, but I cannot believe that their relationship is so strong—to the point of pain if they are separated—if it is actually fragile. There is also an issue with contradictions to the “rules” of the elfin realm. The contradiction that bothers me the most is the soulmate business. I am okay with every elf having one soulmate and there being a level of possessiveness, but some aspects of the soulmate rules are contradicted with wandering eyes.
There is another theme besides good is always better than evil, which Loftis beats us over the head with. That theme is anti-drug, anti-vice. This came up late in the book. Loftis had a chance to do something with it, like trying to break an addiction. It was weak, and the resolution was too much of a miracle.
Since this is an ebook, there are a few technical issues. The navigation bar on a Kindle shows a jump from Chapter 3 to Chapter 10. The chapters in between are missing on the navigation bar, but they are not missing from the book. The chapters are otherwise formatted correctly. The glossary is an issue in this area as well because when I highlight one of the elfin words, it will not link to the glossary so that I can quickly determine what it means.
Quinn Loftis’ Elfin needs revision to be less cheesy and to improve the problems that I talked about above. I do not recommend this book, and I will not continue the series if this is the example of what the rest of it will be.