I am completely in love with this series. I hate to admit it, but at first I thought the basic premise of Tenebrism sounded kinda cliche: Regular coll...moreI am completely in love with this series. I hate to admit it, but at first I thought the basic premise of Tenebrism sounded kinda cliche: Regular college kid (Alan) kisses a stone statue on a dare, only to have the statue come to life before his eyes. Turns out, statue guy (Keyd) is actually a warrior from another world whose people are engaged in an epic battle of "light" vs. "dark" which is about to spill over onto Earth. Been there, done that, right? WRONG! There is nothing cliched about this story at all. Actually, I found it to be quite original, not to mention totally engaging.
First, I just have to say that I found this entire series to be exceedingly well-written. The overall plot is obviously very well planned out, with excellent pacing and appropriate explanations and revelations at just the right times. I was never bored, never overly frustrated or disappointed, while at the same time, still able to feel that edge of excited anticipation throughout. The story has both fantasy and sci-fi elements, and the accompanying world-building is also pretty fantastic, unfolding and integrating very naturally as the story progresses. So no big info dumps, no ridiculous nonsensical explanations; in fact, I found the details and explanations regarding Keyd, his people, and their powers, to actually be very rational, complete, and believable.
The characters themselves are also well-described and well-rounded, and they actually behave and develop over time like you would expect in reality. There are also a number of secondary characters who are quite enjoyable and really help add variety and depth to the overall story, rather than just take up meaningless space. The entire series is told from Alan's POV, and as a narrator, he's pretty great. He just tells his story with a nice sense of humor, and with no overly excessive internal angsting or boring landscape details or other crap like that.
Of course, the romance between Alan and Keyd was also a big highlight for me. Neither of these men have ever been in a relationship with another man before, so for that reason, among others, their own romance is extremely (and believably) slow-moving. Their hesitations and fears are all very realistic, they both make mistakes along the way, and change isn't instantaneous by any means -- all of which really help to add credibility to the entire situation.
You know, I've found that some fantasy stories can be a little too ambitious for their own good -- that it's easy enough to have lots of characters, lots of intrigues, basically just lots going on, and it's also pretty easy to drop the ball and tell a story like this without the necessary details or explanations to back it all up, thus leaving the reader disappointed or confused or unfulfilled in the end. And sadly, that's the kind of story I've been seeing a lot of recently. Which is exactly why the "Light and Shadow" series has been such an overwhelming delight to read. I know that Alyn Drasil isn't going to disappoint me here. She's got a plan, and it's a good one, and her first 3 stories are proof of that. I just can't wait to see what happens in the end.
Highly recommended, rated 4.5/5.
UPDATE (3/29/12): I don't know when the new cover art showed up, but A+++. Seriously. Good job.(less)
Ok I've seen this free fic recommended several times now (very enthusiastically I might add) so I thought I'd give it a try.
Wow. I pretty much never...moreOk I've seen this free fic recommended several times now (very enthusiastically I might add) so I thought I'd give it a try.
Wow. I pretty much never quit reading something once I've started, but I just couldn't deal with this one. I gave up at around page 40, and I only kept it up that long out of sheer stubbornness and determination to see it improve. I even skipped ahead to see if things would get better. They don't.
So what's my problem? First, one of my hugest pet peeves: the insta-love phenomenon. The doc and the widow immediately “fall in love” after having met each other ONE time, which I think is totally ridiculous. There was no build-up, no getting to know the characters at all. Actually, it felt a lot like I had just been dropped right into the middle of an ongoing story and had missed the whole beginning -- like the part where the characters actually talk to each other and develop some kind of relationship before professing their eternal love.
Furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be much direction in the plot -- no cohesiveness. Generally speaking, it just feels like a bunch of random snippets put together without much thought to transitions or underlying storyline. (What underlying storyline?)
Bottom Line: Sorry to say it, but I really didn't like this one at all and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. But as always, my opinion is just my own, and as evidenced by the multiple good reviews that prompted me to read this to begin with, there are obviously plenty of others who will feel differently about this than I did.(less)
Simply amazing. Not to mention magical, enthralling, compelling, emotional, and just plain beautiful. The God Eaters is just the kind of elusively exc...moreSimply amazing. Not to mention magical, enthralling, compelling, emotional, and just plain beautiful. The God Eaters is just the kind of elusively exceptional novel that makes me marvel at the power, beauty, and creativity possible in great fiction writing. It's the kind of book that makes me want to write the author to beg for more of the same. It's the type of story that makes me want to tell everyone I know about it. Days later, and I'm still thinking about it. It's a fantasy, an adventure, a love story, and a tale of redemption. If you are still thinking about reading this, stop thinking and just do it.(less)