Eric Buffington's Reviews > Compendium

Compendium by Alia Luria
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Compendium is a book... about a book. When Mia finds herself traded by her father into a secret 'Order' to get him some special healing, she finds herself confused, frustrated, and mistreated. While doing her assigned labor she discovers a book, Compendium that can help her learn what she needs to know to get her freedom and see the open skies and forests again. Sounds really cool!

Compendium is an interesting book to start out a series. I can definitely say the author's style was good, it kept me engaged. The world she created was well developed and the descriptions were vivid. She also did a great job developing the three main characters of the book, Mia, Cedar and Taryn. There were also some twists in the plot that were unexpected, so that was very refreshing.

Although there were definitely some good things about this book, it was missing some of the things I really want to see in a fantasy story.

*** Spoiler Alert ***

When Mia is in the underground caves of the Order, we follow her to the library, mess hall, and her bedroom. We see all the daily life of her being there, but then she finds her way to a large underground tree in a forbidden part of their base. Sneaking through the caves, dodging the clerics and finally discovering the secret entrance to the tree would have been an exciting chapter. But it was not there. It just starts a chapter and says something like, 'she was in this really cool place that she came almost every night...' That's the kind of thing I want to read about. There were other times in the book when there were large time lapses of things that could have been exciting, and some mundane things, or internal monologues seemed to be dragged out.

From the beginning of the book to the end of the book I felt like nothing changed. When I was about halfway through I still didn't know what the point of the book was, then that feeling continued until the end. There wasn't a clear quest or purpose.

Characters motivation was not always rational. The 'uncle' was crazy angry and secretive, then did a 180 and was suddenly her biggest supporter. That was abrupt and not normal.

The Clerics seemed to be complete morons! They were able to track how she used Compendium but they didn't stop her from stealing the magic traveling stick. They knew who she was, but they didn't mention it to her. They knew what was in the letter from her 'father', but they kept it from her. They saw her getting into trouble and struggling, and they had all the answers to ease her suffering but instead they sat back and let her risk all their lives for pretty much nothing. In the end losing what might have been one of their greatest assets. In this way I felt like the plot was unnecessarily forced.

While I liked the writing style and there were some good things about the book that made me keep reading. It does not set up the beginning of a series that I want to read.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 29, 2015 – Shelved
May 29, 2015 – Finished Reading

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Rosco Betunada First of all, I liked that the uncle was this leering/paranoid/ un'-empathic person, and did the 180 as you mentioned. E.g., my life has been short and uneventful, but stuff like that does happen!

The author is my wife's niece -- and I thought to surprise the Mrs. and get her a copy autographed by the author. We both enjoyed it and will probably acquire Vol. II -- if and when -- but ...
I offered to review/edit/comment on a chapter of the book-in-progress ("for free") as I thought that although the book concept and story line were very good and intriguing -- the wording frequently was "clunky". Could do with some surgery. My offer to review and just send back "some red ink" suggestions was not taken up. Though I'm not (& will never be) as accomplished as Ms. Luria, I do know a thing or 3 about writing ~

And I hope to read Vol. II as I did the original, in a hammock looking out over the ocean in Sayulita (Mex), smokin' a cigar and sippin' raicilla. You know, continuity ...

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