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Exhumation by S.A. Chapman
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It takes quite a long time for the relevance of the first chapter (hunter versus beast) to be made clear. At first, I wasn’t sure if the story was part of Pious’ injury induced hallucinations or if he was simply remembering something he forgot earlier. His later conversation with one of the monsters he’s fighting indicates it’s a memory. The whole chapter amused me but didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the story for a long time. After all, this novel mostly chronicles the adventures of Pious, a professional soldier whose suffering some mental problems as the result of earlier events. He starts out investigating some odd things that are going on in his hometown prior to the start of a local festival. The situation quickly escalates into something more.

This book has some good points, including the characters and their well-developed world. It’s nonetheless hard to follow at times because of all the different concepts (religions, military orders, time frames, castes, traditional practices, and so forth) that pop up without much explanation. There is an extensive index in the back, which certainly helps, but it still gets to a point that it’s overwhelming. Exhumation reads like the second or third book in a series, where there’s plenty of stuff the readers doesn’t know about simply because they came in late to the party. However, as the first book in the series, it could use some prologue information or something so that you don’t spend the whole book trying to sort things out in your mind rather than enjoying the story.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 4, 2017 – Shelved

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message 1: by S.A. (new) - added it

S.A. Chapman Thanks,!

Exhumation is my first attempt at fantasy writing, and I am also not much of a reader, so fortunately/unfortunately Exhumation may not have the 'standard' framework that readers look for and/or are used to.

As stated in a previous review response, my editor slated me on several occasions for making the start of the book slow. "Cut it to the point where the dude gets killed in the forest" is pretty much what she said. It's pretty much what everyone said.

But I kept all the slow/mundane stuff in, mainly because I know its important. I've been told that having one book set up another isn't the way to go - but this is a series and there are more books on the way, so it would be pointless for the books not to link up and or set up other books in the series.

The comment that this book feels like a later instalment is somewhat understandable. This book was started over 7 years ago and reached around 700k words in total. I've butchered, sliced and diced the text into several books. I hope it didn't turn out too bad. Maybe once the other books are released the world/history may begin to make greater sense.

It will take time to get absorbed into the world because I tried to avoid the Tolkienesque world of Elves, Fairies, Dwarves and all those kind of familiar elements.

My theory is that whatever time the reader commits to learning/absorbing the Existentia "universe" (if it could be called that), as undertaken in this first instalment, I will commit to writing more books in that universe that the reader has become familiar with. I would like the created world and stories to be a secondary world that readers can escape to and get lost in.

The print edition and the second edition eBook will be a lot more palatable- with better maps, illustrations, measurement charts, race/culture illustrations, etc.

Once again, thanks for the review and I hope you will read and review the other books in the series when they are released.


Nice pick up on the hallucination vs memory situation. I'd say you are close to the truth, but not there yet. Hint question - did anyone ever witness Pious and the creature together at the same time?

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