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The Scrolls of Xavier is an unremarkable tale in the vein of Avatar. Basically, an alien world has been identified as a source of raw materials for a struggling Earth. This world possesses several primitive tribes of distinct species of life. Evidence emerges that each tribe is protecting a "scroll" that earth military decides is necessary to retrieve. A small special ops group is assembled to recover the scrolls which eventually leads to revelations about the origin of the planet.
While mildly entertaining, the story suffers from sufficient attention to detail; futuristic enough to travel to distant planets, but "orders" are still printed out on paper?. The alien lifeforms are far too anthropomorphic with mostly earth-like animals made semi-intelligent. The premise for the central nature of the scrolls was never developed. The military actions are more cinematic, rather than authentic (when you control the air, why focus on the ground?).
The narration is quite adequate and the rendition is a quick listen. Given that the author is a high school student, this is a respectable rookie attempt.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about The Scrolls of Xavier? What did you like least?
The thing I liked and disliked the most were the planet that the story took place on. John Ashley obviously had a plan, and if it were expressed more it could have been very interesting, but there is no real picture painted of the world other than a thought about a quarter of the way through that only described it as "Earth-like"
I would have liked to have his vision of the planet conveyed in a better way so that I could attempt to see what he sees when he thinks about the world.
Would you recommend The Scrolls of Xavier to your friends? Why or why not?
No. The people I would recommend the book too are middle schoolers (and that is in no way an insult). There is a lot of leeway in science fiction, but even still there were a lot of plot holes and some lazy writing that could be a hang up for older readers.
What aspect of Matt Weight’s performance would you have changed?
I hated, and I mean HATED that Mr. Weight changed the voice for the same character for narration and speaking. The book is written in the first person and so when the main character is not talking Mr. Weight spoke the text normally, but then when the main character does speak Weight adds unnecessary gruffness. It gave me a real Christian Bale as Batman vibe. The first person narration was Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, and the speaking was Christian Bale as Batman... It was ridiculous.
Another thing was the accents. Mr. Weight seemed confident with his russian and english accents, but not so much with his irish and israeli (though one can argue that an israeli soldier doesn't have to be from israel I'd think that their force would mainly be from that area in the future). I'd prefer no accents to a couple, but there wasn't much dialogue from any but the english character, so this complaint is negligible.
One thing I did very much like was Mr. Weight's french and russian. Those were very good.
Could you see The Scrolls of Xavier being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
Maybe, but it'd need a few rewrites.
Any additional comments?
I'll start by saying that this is a very commendable first effort.
The problem, however, with this audiobook is a mix of questionable writing and narrating. I've already pointed out the problems with the narration I had, but as far as the writing goes, a lot of it just seemed lazy.
(I don't consider it a spoiler, but alert just in case)
4 of the 5 sub missions in the book were, essentially, the same. Fly there, find enemy's base, stir up trouble, bring main character inches from death, save main character, planes come before the horde gets to the group.
There are a few other things that I'll write somewhere else, but it all combined to make me a little disappointed. However, I acknowledge that I may not be the intended audience.