Posts tagged Book One
Posts tagged Book One
Title: Call of the Herald
Author: Brian Rathbone
Number of Pages: ~250
Publication Type: Novel
When a school feud erupts into serious violence, Catrin erupts into serious magical powers. Despite the cries of “Witch”, and being banned from the town, Catrin’s life continues relatively smoothly until Zjhon soldiers land on her island, looking for the Herald of Istra—the chosen of the Goddess who prophetically is to destroy their empire.
Catrin (and companions) are forced to flee from the soldiers, drawn into a secret organization set up expressly to protect the Herald—and get her to destroy the Zjhon. Catrin must come to her senses and learn to control and embrace her magical talents… and discover what it really means to be the Herald of Istra.
Star Rating: 2/5
The very first thing about this story: it moves about as fast as molasses rolls uphill in the winter time. There is nothing so long as the first half of this book: it just keeps going… and going… and going.
The second half also drags, though not as badly.
Secondly: show, don’t tell. All of the characters were very into just saying how they felt, and not acting it out. Catrin, in particular, was subjected to us being told about her emotions. “She felt afraid”, etc. Every once in awhile, if her emotional state is at odds with her actions, that’s acceptable. But if she’s afraid, so she’s hiding… We get that she’s afraid from the fact that she’s hiding and trembling. Give us a break.
The supporting characters were also pretty much flat, one note wonders. To be honest, I kind of lump three of them together; they’re basically interchangeable in the story line anyway.
The sad thing about this, of course, is that there might have been a story worth reading in this. If the story was condensed to about 50% of its current length (especially cutting out the pages and pages and pages of world building for a location we never went to. What was the point of that?), it could fix the pacing issues. Work on characterization, and maybe ditch one of the extra boys since they all seem to blend together anyway.
Show, don’t tell.
And then, this story might have been really interesting. However, it would also be lacking a bit in the plot department. This is just the first book, but I could easily see this all being a one-chapter prologue. Or even a back-story revealed in a later work. This didn’t need to be a novel: it’s a pretty thin novel. Sounds like most things are going to start happening in the next book—or possibly the third book.
She might just go to a monastery and learn to do magic. Which is cool, but not something I’d want to read an entire book about, going from how much I didn’t enjoy reading about a CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT FROM SOLDIERS. If that could be made boring…
Title: The Awakened
Author: Jason Tesar
Number of Pages: 229
Publication Type: Novel
It’s so difficult to summarize that the book description on the Kindle itself goes on for five pages. Umm, there’s a family, and then a bunch of supernatural-ish things happen, and the family is broken up and we follow each of their stories and also Saba, who’s not part of the family. There’s a magic portal the angels built. … it’s very hard to describe.
Star Rating: 3/5
This novel is… not horrible. It was overall disappointing, however. Every once in awhile would come an interesting choice, and I always felt like the author picked the option that would preserve the status quo. Most of the characters felt fairly in alignment with themselves: there was very little honest inner struggle. Characters who were good wondered how they could be good most effectively, characters who were bad tried to find the best way to cover up their evil.
It also took a very long time to get interesting. The writing is a bit plain and pedestrian as well.
To any writers who might be reading this, I would advise you to download this book and use it as a cautionary tale for the following piece of free advice: if you ever find yourself wrapping up a description paragraph or two and find yourself summarizaing it with either, “It was obvious that…” or “It was clear that…” STOP. PUT THE PEN DOWN, BACK AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD. If it’s obvious, the audience will get it. If it’s clear, we will understand.
If you’re just going to lay it out for us, why did we just spend half a page or more drawing our own conclusions? Trust your description to do its job, don’t strangle us making sure we perceive events EXACTLY the way you want us too.
Download? It’s a toss up for me. It’s not terrible, it’s not good. I’m not recommending it, but I wouldn’t sneer at someone who liked it.