Book Review: The Music Man by Moonyani Write

The Music Man by Moonyani Write

2 stars

If you would like to get to know the author better, they have a twitter handle @moonyaniwrite.

As much as the plot was interesting and perfect for middle grade, the formatting is a mess and the story needs work. The idea behind the story proves Moonyani Write is a quality storyteller. This story just needs at least another rewrite. A few rounds of edits would make this story into something amazing.

This is a crazy story that reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. Except it’s England not Kansas. Jimmy, a young boy, wanders into the Music Man’s life on a cold winter day. They bond over music. Then the music they play whisks them away to another world.

The plot exists, and I could follow it. The characters had some level of depth, but pieces were missing. As if the characters weren’t as clear as they needed to be for the author. Some parts of the setting were clear, others not so much. I had no idea of the year until the end.

Dialogue was common and difficult to figure out who was speaking. There really needed to be clear pauses between different people using action to separate speakers.

I wish there was some clear dialogue difference between Cornelius and Jimmy. To show how educated and well off Cornelius is, as well as to point out Jimmy isn’t. Part of me wonders how Cornelius is wealthy, but playing him as just some wealthy man can work.

The end of the book made it clear it was about 1930. That’s right after World War 1. It would have made sense if the war killed people. It would explain the missing fathers readily. The kids were old enough even if they wouldn’t wish to bring it up. Plus mentioning the fathers died in the Great World War, the year would be pretty much set.

If this is supposed to be England near London during the late 1920s, the author needs to add in things to say so. Cars were new. Horse and carriages existed. Cobbled or dirt streets. Something. Even if it’s done as a comparison to the new town of Harmony.

Part of the story is written as almost an epic poem. That can work given it has such a music based story line. The other option is middle grade chapter book. The plot line and characters suit middle grade. This is not formatted properly for a middle grade book.

The author uses beauty/beautiful far too often as a descriptor. Everything cannot be beautiful.

These are only some of the concerns with this book. I wouldn’t even want to put a red pen to it. It really needs a rewrite after the author reviews each character and decides on the settings.

I wish I could say this was great. There was skill here, but it was hidden under a mess of a draft not ready for the public. I hope this story gets revamped. There is a possibility for greatness here that wasn’t hit.

If Moonyani Write keeps trying, there is no doubt in my mind they can succeed. I am not against picking up another book of theirs.

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Reviews]

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