Well, I have to say, this is quite the ambitious work.
Two separate races live in the land of Helmriche. First there are the Miltsians, who with theirWell, I have to say, this is quite the ambitious work.
Two separate races live in the land of Helmriche. First there are the Miltsians, who with their telepathic powers are the country's rulers and primary citizens. Then there are the Cildisc, who are treated as second class citizens and little better than slaves, despite their elemental powers. The Cildisc people have few privileges but mainly live free, with the exception of their most powerful children who are selected and torn away from their families to become Companions. The Companion system, in which a powerful Miltsian and a powerful Cildisc are paired together and bonded, is largely used as a means to gain and maintain Miltsian control and power. Actually, for many Companion-Miltsian pairs, the Companion is seen rather like a tool, an extension to the Miltsian's power, rather than as an individual with power in his own right. However, even for all their power and resources, Helmriche is a country in trouble. Not everyone is happy with the status quo, the nobles have been plagued by a strange and deadly "Noble's Disease," and the country is on the verge of war with their neighbors.
So, there's a lot going on. And in the center of it all are our two heroes: Adrian, a headstrong and defiant fire Companion, and Kier, his reluctant Master and powerful Miltsian general.
Now, for my actual thoughts and comments. Book 1, although very necessary and enjoyable enough, makes for a bit of a slow and frustrating start. There are multiple intrigues and side-plots and background stories going on in this series, and the authors do a most excellent job at drawing them out and revealing them slowly. Very slowly. Like, all will not be revealed until the end of Book 3 slowly. To be frank, most of Book 1 consists of Adrian and Kier getting to know each other, which, while entertaining, wasn't exactly action-packed and ultimately tended to raise more questions than answers. The plot of Book 1 is full of cryptic hints and suggestions that lay the groundwork for the rest of the series, but don't expect any explanations until much later.
Luckily, once Book 2 begins, things start to get much more exciting. Much of Kier's mysterious background is revealed, new characters are introduced, secrets come out regarding past events, and new enemies are discovered. And of course, there are more cryptic clues to try and figure out. Book 3 continues in a similar manner, with plots exposed, secrets revealed, and crazy surprises. Way exciting. And very dramatic.
At this point, I've finished everything available, up to Chapter 13 of Book 3. According to the authors, there are 6-7 chapters left to go until the end, but we'll see. My only real complaint about the series is that I worry it's maybe a little too ambitious. Like I've said, there are lots of sub-plots and intrigues going on, and at this point, I'm still pretty confused about a number of plot points (which I can't really talk about without revealing too much). Because of the confusion and general lack of thorough explanation so far, I guess I worry about how the authors plan to bring everything together in only 6-7 chapters. 'Cause it's going to be a lot of work, I think, to not only explain everything and tie it all together, but make it believable as well. So best of luck to them! And I can't wait to find out what happens...
So yeah, overall, I've rather enjoyed reading this series, and am definitely eagerly awaiting for the final book to be finished. I'd rate it at 3.5/5....more
Check out Paul Bens' review -- that's what inspired me to read this excellent novella. And yeah, I pretty much thought it was great. Sequel please? PrCheck out Paul Bens' review -- that's what inspired me to read this excellent novella. And yeah, I pretty much thought it was great. Sequel please? Pretty please?
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 collI 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....more
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 neverOk 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....more
Simply amazing. Not to mention magical, enthralling, compelling, emotional, and just plain beautiful. The God Eaters is just the kind of elusively excSimply 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....more