Lawral's Reviews > Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the Shamalans

Antiquitas Lost by Robert Louis Smith
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's review
Oct 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: arc, read-but-unowned, ya, 2011
Read from October 25 to November 04, 2011

Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the Shamalans turned out to be a pretty great book. I say "turned out to be" because I almost gave up on it around page 50. The beginning is slooooow. Because this was sent to me for review, I decided to power through to at least page 100, and I'm so glad I did. Once Elliot left his "normal" life in New Orleans and headed off through the secret passage in his grandfather's basement (I'm a sucker for secret portals to other realms hidden in an old houses), things really started to pick up. Elliot's adventure in Pangrelor quickly takes on a very LOTR feel, complete with a large cast of important characters from various fantasy races. Smith did a wonderful job at not only introducing these different characters without overwhelming me as a reader, but he also wove in important information about the cultures and customs of all of his creatures without turning his book into a fantasy anthropological venture. Similarly, he withholds information about the history of the war (and the world) in which Elliot finds himself, something that usually bothers me to no end, especially when the characters who are "in the know" sit around whispering about it. Because Hooks, Woolf, Marvus and Jingo, Elliot's companions and friends, are doing their best to protect Elliot as he figures out how he fits into their world, this withholding of information worked. When everything fell into place at the end leaving Elliot free to save the day, it didn't seem trite or too convenient (for the most part) because Marvus and Jingo were there to show how it had been prophesied all along.

Now, about the illustrations by the famous Geoff Isherwood... I could have lived without them. The illustrations in the book are good, but I don't think they added to the story. Some crossed that horrible line where they became distractions from the text rather than an addition to it, but for the most part, they were just pretty pictures about what I was reading. They did not, as I had hoped they would, add any emotion to the characters, and without the captions underneath each one, it was sometimes hard to tell which character they were supposed to be depicting. And that cover. Don't let it keep you from picking up this book. Antiquitas Lost really is a LOTR fantasy quest type book, not a book about superheroes in space.

Book source: Review copy provided by publicist for review.

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