Twerking Cruxes and a Cloaked Visage by Kemka Ezinwo
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Twerking Cruxes and a Cloaked Visage by Kemka Ezinwo follows the lives of individuals from a Nigerian community. The novel takes place over several years, beginning when the members of the youngest generation are schoolchildren and ending when they are nearing middle age. Over the course of the novel, the characters are put through multiple challenges, including; fighting for love, finding and reuniting with lost family members, struggling with religious belief, and learning the true nature of those around them.
The crowning jewel of Twerking Cruxes and a Cloaked Visage is the way Ezinwo weaves the lives of the multiple characters. All of the characters are interconnected in some way, and even when their paths diverge over time and distance, Ezinwo finds a way to bring them back together again. Keeping track of these characters and their many narratives must have been an extremely difficult task as a writer, and I commend Ezinwo for her ability to keep the characters straight and align their narratives in such a clever way.
From a reader’s standpoint, keeping track of so many characters is somewhat challenging, and there were several times throughout the novel where I had to pause and remind myself who a character was and how s/he was connected to someone else. Likewise, because Twerking Cruxes and a Cloaked Visage takes place over multiple decades, a lot happens in the one novel. This made the plot and details feel rushed. I felt like, just when the plot would really develop, it would be rushed onto the next event. Moreover, I felt like I did not have ample time to get to know the characters at more than the surface level. Honestly, I believe the events of this one book could have encompassed an entire series if given room to breath and develop properly.
On a grammatical level, the writing struggled. I spotted errors in almost every-other sentence, which consistently forced me to pause and re-read and threw me out of the narrative. Additionally, much of the dialogue lacked proper tagging, which made it difficult to know who was speaking. The dialogue also felt similar for all characters, which dampened the emotions the author tried to portray and hindered the uniqueness of the characters. One aspect of the dialogue that I did enjoy was when it would lapse into specific “dialects” to show when the characters were experiencing intense emotions.
Twerking Cruxes and a Cloaked Visage manages to follow multiple characters as they grow and beautifully interconnect their story lines in a way that feels authentic to their characters. However, the fast pace of events and lack of personality in dialogue prevents the readers from connecting with the events and characters as deeply as they could. In the end, if you like romance, drama, and a dash of mystery, you just may like the winding narrative and turning events of Twerking Cruxes and a Cloaked Visage.
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