BOOK IN REVIEW: Pigments of My Imagination by Angela Kulig8:27 PM
Received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Pigments of My Imagination
Author: Angela Kulig
Publisher: Green Envy Press
Publisher: Green Envy Press
Publication Date: September 23, 2013
Epub: 826 pages
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Pigments of My Imagination is about Lucia, an artist prodigy who is about to enter her new school at Bayside Academy. Yet even if others would be thrilled to be at one of the most prestigious and advanced art schools, Lucia is nothing but bothered, as she has always felt as if she knows people (déjàvu, she has always dismissed it), and it has become even worse when she arrives at her new school. Her mother would send her to psychologists and after each session, she would feel better, not knowing that her memories are being repressed. Yet, Lucia still has an empty feeling, as if she has to remember something but can't - until she meets Leo. And then we find out that Lucia and Leo are two lovers, part of the Soul Painters, a group of artists who have been reincarnated over and over again. And Lucia finds out that she has started a war several lifetimes ago, and it will never end until she does something about it.
Pigments of my Imagination was definitely a fascinating read. I found Angela Kulig's writing so vivid and real. She was able to paint the setting quite so remarkably I could imagine the story play out in my head. The premise of POMI is very interesting and unique. For one, it's a reincarnation plot which has been done over and over again. But on the other hand, it uses art as the central key to the story. It is not just about fates, harpies and all sorts of magical creatures but it also talks about art and its beauty or curses. It's unlike any book I've ever read. At first I thought it to be a Mortal Instruments/Twilight crossover, but surprisingly it is actually very very different although some elements were similar. It didn't dwell much on the romance between Lucia or Leo, and the approach wasn't melodramatic with the story - though there were some melodramatic revelations.
POMI started out strong with Lucia describing all the colors of the sky and ocean and how each artist didn't paint the same thing in the same way. It quickly caught my interest that I kept on reading, yet my problem began when I was nearing halfway but I still couldn't empathize with the characters or their own respective relationships. Lucia is so-so. She does not annoy me, she doesn't make me root for her- she just does not make me feel anything. I couldn't care less about her problems or worries. I'm also quite glad that Leo isn't an Edward Cullen or Jace Lightwood/Wayland/Herondale/whatever or Augustus Waters type and that he is his own person, but he just wasn't that interesting enough for me to actually swoon over him.
I had problems with the characters - they just fell flat, like cardboard cut outs labeled Lucia - main character, Leo - love interest. It just felt too obvious who was good who was bad. Even the revelation that Mr Garcia is a traitor wasn't surprising at all, I just took it as it is. Now, William is a lot more compelling as a character and I actually enjoyed reading his parts more, as he interested me, as well as his relationship with Ripley. I found myself skipping over Lucia and Leo's parts, to read William's. But other than that, I couldn't find establish a connection with any of them at all, which is supposedly the heart of the story. If the characters aren't well rounded or relatable then it shows the failure of the book as well.
It can be argued that the reincarnation part of the story is the reason why there is no need for character or relationship establishment, as the characters already know each other, and their relationships have already been formed since centuries. Yet, I'd have wanted more details on how Leo and Lucia fell in love - more depth into their story. Apart from some flashbacks, I wanted to see how they both would fall in love in the current lifetime, and not just automatically be in love because they were already in love during other lifetimes. Plus, Lucia actually couldn't remember Leo that much so I wanted to see that struggle for her to remember him and for their relationship to bloom on their own accord during this lifetime. It seemed to me that Lucia only went with the flow.
POMI had a very very fast paced story. As soon as Lucia arrives at the school, revelations quickly surface, and though I like books that are straight to the point, I felt like it was all too rushed, as there were parts in which I felt confused with what was happening. It felt like the characters knew something I didn't. I couldn't quite catch up with the pacing of the story, and the switching POVs made it all the more confusing. Even though there were some reveals which I guessed (like the part that William is her brother). The flow of events wasn't properly planned or fleshed out, the climax was nowhere to be found - and so was the resolution. Even if this is part of a trilogy, it's imperative for there to be a resolution. Instead this felt like part of one long book cut into 3 parts, instead of an individual book from a trilogy. This is exactly what I meant about it not being melodramatic- there was no melodrama in its means to reveal certain plot points, even if said points were melodramatic in essence. The story failed to capture my interest or shock me during reveals, as like I said I had already guessed it or I just couldn't follow anymore because I was too confused.
Yet, even with these flaws, one thing kept me reading this book and it was the story and Kulig's beautiful writing. The story is very very unique, and I have been thinking about it a lot after reading it. The story doesn't go through the plot by traditional means; there's just something about it that's so different. I would recommend this to an older audience - not because it has PG content, but basically because its plot is a little too complicated and requires a smarter readership. It's unlike anything else mainstream or supernatural where the plot is laid out for you with no challenge. This one you have to figure it out for yourself.
I will read the next book of course, because I honestly do want to know what happens next, and hopefully by that time I'd finally find a connection between myself and the characters, and I would be less confused. Even so, I'm rating this one as good, with 3.5 stars out of 5, as I had a very nice experience engrossing myself into Kulig's imaginative world.