Elizabeth Fitzgerald's Reviews > The Horns of Ruin

The Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers
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's review
Jan 14, 12

bookshelves: borrowed
Read from January 04 to 14, 2012

Ostensibly, this book is steampunk but the technology and the feel didn’t quite match up. It follows the story of Eva Forge, last Paladin of the slain god Morgan, as she battles against the extinction of her religion at the hands of an unknown enemy.

There was quite a bit to like about this book. I found the setting quite vivid and it was easy to picture the individual locations as well as the city of Ash as a whole. The action scenes were also well written. I found they were clear and held suitable tension. The concept of the invocations—the remembering of legends of Morgan as a way of invoking his power in specific ways—appealed to me and I particularly liked the way Eva’s later ones changed and grew. Overall, the pace was pretty good and the hooks the author used worked well, for the most part.

However, there were some things that really let this book down. The major one was character. The voices of the different characters were almost indistinguishable; there were times I had to read again to figure out who was saying what. All of them seemed to have the same wise-guy sense of humour. Several characters seemed more a function of the plot than proper three-dimensional people, with a number of them seeming all too willing to trust and forgive Eva despite circumstances. The female characters were unconvincing as females. Yes, Eva was practically raised in a monastery in a warrior tradition by mostly males, but I would have liked to see some vestige of femininity in her, particularly since physical strength is not really an issue. Cassandra was no better, despite her different background and relative passivity—the two of them might just as well have been men.

The plot was somewhat predictable in places; I saw some twists coming from a mile off. And yet there were some parts towards the end that I struggled with the author’s concept of divinity and with what was going on in the grand scheme of things.

Nevertheless, I rather enjoyed the book. The ending was satisfying without being the end; several major threads were left loose for future books. I’m still on the fence as to whether I liked it enough to read any future sequels.

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