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By Peyton Starr on 10-25-17
More Cons then Pros - Needs Abrigding
I loved the first book in this series but saw even there it had flaws – the biggest being the author’s tendency to ramble and give useless information. Usually authors correct their flaws in the second book, but for this author, those flaws got worse. Maybe it was the pressure to write a book that was as long or longer than the first book so he was afraid to cut down on the word count. Regardless, like other reviews have said, I think this book is in DESPERATE need of editing. WARNING: SPOILERS.
THINGS I LIKED:
• The new character Hilda
• The side-character that is Tom’s new warlock (good side-character, no further focus needed)
• The buildup of Tizzy as the puppetmaster to everything
• The Exedor/Council of Mages conflict side-story
• Everything about the Oorstemothians: the allerative language of their lawyers/officials and their society where you have to sign a waiver to get a drink (Friggin hilarious!)
• The first shaman to contact Tom has a nice side story
• The Lillith/Rod conspiracy
• The Tom/Telarius interactions
• Telarius’s sword Ruiden turning into a golemn, Ruiden’s personality, and everyone’s reactions to him
• Tom as a character is finally given a long-form purpose
THINGS THAT MADE ME ANGRY:
• Most of the characters from the first book are completely useless in this book and are given shoehorned-in side-stories to stay relevant. This is especially shameful for Rupert since he was such a focus in the first book and he is hardly mentioned in this one.
• Too many references - especially near the end . Reliance on reference material as actual plot material is shameful. (Examples: One of the orcs is using a lightsaber in the final battle; character use a Stargate to bring in reinforcements)
• The foray into sci-fi; changes the idea of multiple “plains of existence” to it being a multi-verse.
• Tom’s character changes: (1) He didn’t seem like the convention-attending, dungeons-and-dragons-playing type in the first book, but in this book he is and has an inordinate amount of knowledge of nerd culture. (2) No more internal monologues or philosophical thought.
• Giving random things acronyms (Forces of Evil is FOE – wtf?)
• The amount of onomatopoeia in the final battle
• The uselessness of the ENTIRE Nimbus/Grove arc
• Repeating information we already know many, many, many times for the sake of seeing character reactions
• The nebulous nature of Bess’s character
• The book cover makes one think that the Rod/Oorstemothian invasion of the Abyss will happen in this book when it does not
• The orcs were difficult to relate to and hard to root for (It would have been nice to see more of the prejudice they face and their bad luck since the fall of Orcus as well as their more honorable characteristics. As is, it seems their reputation as violent brigands who don’t have any desire to be respected by the rest of society is very well deserved)
• The uselessness of Samael (I LOVED this character, but ultimately he could have been cut out of this book with no consequences. I would have liked to see him interacting with Lillith so we could see the strife and internal conflict happening within the Courts, which would have emphasized the increased pressure on Lillith to maintain control, but that did not happen.)
• My biggest complaint: Too many side characters and showing interactions between them (Examples: the other shaman besides the first little guy; the interactions between the Rod officials – even when Hilda is there; the Grove meeting and every character connected to it)
In conclusion: This book suffers from rambling and would have been much better if the content had been cut by about half. I would not buy this book if I knew what I knew now. If you feel you must buy it, use a credit – don’t buy at full price. Listen to on 2X-3X speed for all scenes not involving Tom, Hilda, or the Council of Mages. I won’t be getting the third book because I think the things I don’t like about this series will get worse in the third book.
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