Publication Date: Omnibus 1st March 2014, originally 1996 Publisher: HarperCollins Australia ISBN: 9780732298784 Age Group: Young Adult (15+) Genre: FantaPublication Date: Omnibus 1st March 2014, originally 1996 Publisher: HarperCollins Australia ISBN: 9780732298784 Age Group: Young Adult (15+) Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel, Science Fiction, History, Adventure Source: Bookshelf! Lootability: ***
What I Liked: Ancient Future: The Dark Ages is my favourite instalment of the trilogy. Tory’s adventures in time are fascinating and and the famous Welsh figures she encounters (Taliesin) bring the mythological history to life. The series is a romantic epic – Tory and Maelgwyn’s love transcends time, space and even death, as they fight to remain side by side for eternity. Our adventures with Tory don’t end in the dark ages but travel into our technologically advanced past, and into our modern future where her descendants await her leadership. We visit Iraq, Babylon, Atlantis, the Moon and the very depths of the ocean to discover truth and raise the awareness of mankind.
Harding has a fascination with the Nephilim, who are the antagonists in her Ancient Future trilogy and her more recent Gene of Isis trilogy. They are portrayed as sociopathic demi-gods who enjoy watching the struggles of the developing humankind. She includes them in our history as Pharaoh’s, Goddesses and heroes, implying they had great influence over our development – they are presented as human kinds biggest obstacle to overcome.
The entire Atlantis storyline is breathtaking in its imaginativeness, and I love the ideas behind it. I wanted more from Turan, Adelgar and Duran. They were almost more fun, and certainly more enlightened than their Dark Ages counterparts.
What I Didn’t Like: Traci Harding has always weaved an excellent story. Harding’s understanding of history, ritualistic practice, mythology and spirituality bind together to create spell-binding epic with only one flaw. It’s not outrageously obvious, and doesn’t happen on every page, but Harding’s writing style can be a little immature. Her narrative and descriptions are beautiful and evocative but there are times when the dialogue let’s her down.
A common complaint I share is finding the use of ‘Brythonic English’ more annoying than endearing, considering the number of thee’s, thou’s, and hast’s peppering the conversation. Since the dialogue is all in English instead of ancient Welsh or Brythonic, it might as well all match. There are also a few too many contemporary terms and phrases thrown about by basically uneducated medieval knights. The Atlantis plot was definitely underdeveloped. It had the potential to develop the story further, and Tory’s character could have advanced spiritually with a little more time amongst the peaceful Atlantan people.
The characters could use more development, particularly Tory who is the heart and soul of the series. She needs more time to grow as a leader and an immortal; for someone who is meant to lead the immortal battalion against the Nephilim, she doesn’t develop much past her pot smoking introduction, despite supposedly conducting herself as a Queen and giving disapproving looks.
Conclusion: If you aren’t interested in time-travel, New Ages spiritualism, tae-kwon-do, or fantasy it isn’t worth picking up this book. If you are looking for an epic to enthral you, or a thrilling fantasy read you would be better off looking elsewhere. This is a fun, light read that will only last a cursory reading. Deep analysis will be the downfall of these novels, despite their fun and imaginative plot. ...more
I received a copy of Branded from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Publication Date: 28th June 2014 Publisher: Abby and Miss Books ISBN: 97809I received a copy of Branded from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Publication Date: 28th June 2014 Publisher: Abby and Miss Books ISBN: 9780989527408 Age Group: Young Adult 13-17 years Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Adventure Source: Netgalley Lootability: Did Not Finish
Unfortunately, sometimes a book and a reader do not suit. I was very excited by Branded by self-publishing début authors Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki; I received an advance copy through Netgalley and got stuck in straight away. My excitement did not last and I did not finish the book. The novel has a great premise – after the last World War, the Commander came to power and is forcing the populace to live under a stern set of rules – anyone who commits one of the seven deadly sins is arrested, branded and forced to work in the Hole. There’s a lot more to it (or so I assume from other reviews) but I only made it 33 pages in.
I have two reasons for putting down Branded: The heroine, Lexi, is melodramatic from the beginning – everything is harder and scarier for her, but she is superior to all the everyone around her in both understanding and strength. Or so she keeps telling us; I’m not interested in hearing Lexi’s thoughts on how wonderful she is, or how she has to be strong through this awful time. I want to see Lexi prove her strength by reacting to her tragic circumstances, it’s not enough to tell me that she can and then have her ‘lose it’ repeatedly. There is a big difference between the styles of every author and as a reader you accept some styles are better than others. The writing styles in Branded did not suit me. This is a self-published novel, a brave undertaking but one that can leave your book open to flaws. There are a lot of problems with the phrasing: “The door is partially covered, but it exists.” – This is not the Matrix – a spoon is just a spoon. You can’t hide something that doesn’t exist. “I squint my eyes” – Really? By definition squint refers to your eyes – what else would Lexi be squinting? My problem with Branded, publishing in its second edition on 28 June 2014, lies in the potential I see. Lexi could be a strong and passionate character with a little work. All those sentences that make me cringe could be fixed if they pushed their editor a little harder.
A self-publication like Branded is a wonderful achievement and I applaud Ketner and Kalicicki for their hard work and ambition. It’s wonderful to see the authors re-releasing the book with improvements but I’m disappointed that I’m not seeing the best work they can produce.
I may try this book again in the future – perhaps being in a different mood will help – but Branded has a lot of potential and I think it will be very well received....more