Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Complicated, Plot-Driven Modern Fantasy

Pigments of My Imagination (Soul Painters #1) by Angela Kulig (Green Envy Press, 2013, 324pp.)

I don’t know why I inevitably compare everything to Harry Potter, but I do. This book will be no different. Pigments of My Imagination starts out a little bit like Harry Potter, if J.K. Rowling had forgone wizards and instead focused on artistic, creative types who reincarnated on a regular basis. The heroine of this tale is Lucia, a budding prodigy who arrives at Bayside Art Academy in Galveston, Texas. Before long, she meets fellow classmate Leo. Although he’s a bit stand-offish at first, she soon realizes that he has been her soulmate from the beginning of time—literally. The two of them are Soul Painters, a group of artists with magic capabilities who reincarnate through the ages. They are also at war against the Deceivers, another similarly-abled group who are, well, deceitful. Add to this mix various fantasy entities (harpies, oracles, and mysterious beings called the Fates), and you have the world of the Soul Painters series. 
Many teens will find the love-at-first-sight between Lucia and Leo appealing, but as for myself...I just felt confused from page 1. Although Lucia walks into the novel completely unaware of her past lives, her first meeting with Leo soon remedies this. She begins experiencing memories of past lives, and seems to instantly gain an understanding of the mysterious goings on. Unfortunately, as the reader, I never caught up. It always felt like the characters always knew something that I didn’t, and because of this, I had trouble connecting with them and their situation. Some readers may have this problem, others may not. In any case, what I thought was going to be a simple paint-by-numbers paranormal romance turned into a more complicated, plot-driven modern fantasy best suited for older YA readers. My suggestion? If the plot summary sounds interesting, give it a shot. Recommended for Ages 16-Up.

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