Saturday, 8 June 2013

Review of The Light Keepers by Mande Matthews

This blog has now surpassed 300 pageviews! I'm more excited than a duck in a pond being tossed breadcrumbs.

There is also one person out there still using Netscape. I feel like you, whoever you are, are a time-traveler from the 90's finding out what's going to happen in the future. I salute you, Netscape user, for checking out this blog, despite the uselessness of the information that you can take back in time with you.

In other news, The Brightest Night is sitting pretty at 130 pages. I'm in a good writing space, so hopefully will get some more pages done tonight.

You lovely folk also get a book review courtesy of yours truly. The novella in question is The Light Keepers, and a preview of the next book Bonded, by author Mande Matthews. I give it two stars out of five, based on the Goodreads scale.

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I was browsing the Kindle e-books, and stumbled across this. Wanting to read something fantastical, it looked the part, so I downloaded it and read it. The particular version also came with several chapters of Bonded, the first book of the ShadowLight Saga, and this review will address both.

I wasn't really expecting all that much from the read, and that's essentially what I ended up getting, not that much.

The Good: The premise of the story is fairly interesting, and I was intrigued enough to keep reading. Astrid (main character) has some interesting internal conflict, and it was kind of interesting to have a narrator who was mute, and thus not able to fully exert herself on her surroundings. There's some really lovely descriptions of setting, and the fact that it was a pseudo-Viking society becomes pretty clear quite early on. Various of the setting were quite original, such as the song of the Mother, and the idea of shadowalking. The villain (even if he doesn't get properly introduced) was pretty creepy, although the sexual tension...really doesn't make sense. Yes, the dark side is seductive, but...why literally?

The Bad: While I haven't read the entire saga, I'm pretty sure my predictions for the ending are spot on. It's a variant of a plot we've read multiple times before, although I will give it kudos for doing it in a new and different way. I have a basic understanding of Norse mythos and Viking culture, but a lot of concepts brought up were unfamiliar to me and could have used a little bit more introduction. The use of nei for no and ja for yes irked me. I understand that it was to establish the foreign setting, but if all the characters are speaking the same language, the necessity is gone.

The Ugly: There was a whole lot of action and angst, but there was no down time to digest, and a lot of internal conflict resolved itself incredibly quickly. A lot of relationships were established, but rather than being shown, were described point blank. I came away from the prequel and preview of the next book feeling unfulfilled, because there was a lot of stuff going on, but it lacked substance. 

I'm not going to touch the fight scenes, because they do what they're supposed to do for the plot and establishing characters.

Will I keep reading Bonded? Probably not. If you want something fluffy that is a quick read, then you may enjoy this book. If you want something to sink your teeth into, this book is not for you.

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