I've been interested in discovering more independent authors lately and was hoping to find a new favorite. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Ella James and her Stained series.THE GOOD: With more than its fair share of originality in its presentation of Nephilim, the story has a lot of potential. I was a little worried that the book would come across as dull and too cliched because -- let's face it -- a lot all of these supernatural beings are just overdone in today's YA world. (Not that this stops me from reading about them, mind you.) Without a doubt, it takes some talent to make paranormal YA feel fresh and make you feel like you are actually reading a new story.THE BAD: The writing. Okay, I know I am not a writer and though I would dearly love to write a book or several, that's just not who I am and I am coming to accept that. However, I have read enough over the years to be able to come to a reasonable conclusion about the quality of writing in a story. Many times I found myself cringing at the author's choice of phrasing and the voice of Julia's character and consequently, the entire story. I understand wanting to paint a picture with vivid words and analogies, but it was as if James chose to use overly dramatic descriptors for practically everything in the story. It became ridiculous pretty early on. Not to mention some additional editing would have helped to uncover and correct some easy-to-spot grammatical/spelling errors, which seem to be all too common in independent publications.THE UGLY (UGH-LY?): A toss-up between the supposed budding romance between Julia and Cayne/Cayuzul and the ridiculously juvenile voice in which the story is told. Take your pick. Somehow, the vernacular/slang of the modern teen just sounds utterly ridiculous when immortalized in the pages of a book. Cringe-worthy, indeed.For me, the writing was enough of a turn-off that I simply can't see myself continuing the series, unless someone out there can convince me that it will get better. It's a shame, because at those rare times when I could look beyond James's annoying choices of phraseology, I really felt like I was getting a glimpse of the makings of an original paranormal series. But in reading other reviews of this book here and on Amazon.com, I would say I am in the minority, so you can just take my review for what it is -- my opinion and just one of many.