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A big hindrance seems to be the desire of the author to appeal to the biggest possible audience.
On one hand, the book tries to be accessible for people who never have dipped a single toe into fantasy of any kind before, manifesting in painfully slow and dumbed-down explanations for everything supernatural, much of which is repeated multiple times just to be sure. This longwindedness is part of a bigger problem I'll address below.
Despite all this effort to properly explain every detail over and over again, the plotholes started piling up quickly in the spaces between explanations anyway.
On the other hand, it tries to make meta-jokes that seem to be aimed at UF veterans. This dichotomy was really weird and tiring as a long time fan of the genre.
If you use cheap clichées in your story, no amount of ironically pointing them out to the reader makes them less cheap or less clichée. It just makes it impossible for readers who noticed on their own to ignore them because of the huge neon sign you pointed at them. You can do that if your plan is to write a parody of some kind but that is clearly not the intention here. Pointing out your own mistakes on the fly in a real-life conversation can be charming and might make you come across as humble and mature but that just doesn't work in a book because in contrast to a real conversation you had the time to correct the mistake but chose not to and instead just added a quip about it which just comes across as lazy.

There are lots of ancient clichées that aren't explicitly pointed out in-between as well which is the second main annoyance I experienced. The clichées used are mostly native to cheap horror which makes them stand out because I wouldn't have categorized this as horror at any point.

Some of the characters' motivations were very far-fetched and obviously just plot convenience.
Especially towards the end the level of melodrama almost reaches parody levels.

Now to my main issue. The speed.
It's almost like the book needs to repeat the entire history of every supernatural thing every time it is mentioned which obviously gets longer every time. I am pretty certain that if you removed 1/4 of all sentences at random I could still get the entire plot.
Halfway through the book, not even three days have passed despite lots of time skips.
Something that somewhat fits into this is the constant and endless denial. I haven't read a book before in which the MC was boneheaded enough to deny every single supernatural element he encounters for so long before accepting any of it. The intent might be to be more real but the MC isn't some over 60 traditionalists that won't accept change at any cost. He is a mid 30s guy and his main strength is to think on his feet and adapt to unexpected situations and seems to be neck-deep in his fiction literature. This constant denial is extremely tiresome.

The author tries hard to make action scenes tense which results in an emotional rollercoaster and not the good kind. One second the MC panics, the next he is in sherlock holmes mode, then, reflection and regret, then resolve, then a random event thrown in by the author to move things along a bit and repeat maybe in a slightly different order. At one point there is an "action" scene that maybe takes 3 minutes in world-time but takes over 30 to read all the while trying to retain tension and desperately adding more words, more emotions to make it tenser which makes it drag even more.
That might actually be the main problem of the author. He tries to improve things if they don't seem good enough with more and more words and then has to repeat even more detail from before to make sure the reader didn't forget. The goal should be the exact opposite. To tighten it up. At least sometimes it seems the author believes he is building suspense with all this back and forth but he just loses tension in my opinion. I sat there literally eye-rolling for minutes before he finally got to the point sometimes.
As you might expect this becomes worse and worse over time because there is more and more to repeat. It's a vicious cycle really.

I'll stop beating the dead horse now. This longwinded tendency to repetition might be contagious it seems.

For a long time, I believed the story salvageable if not for the horrendous redundancy and endlessly dragged out scenes but the climax ended up being absolutely abysmal. It's a combination of blatant plot conveniences, the flaws I already complained about and on top of that a huge dose of power ranger level clichée stereotypes. I dropped the book after chapter 37 of 40.

Maybe for readers new to all kinds of fantasy this might appear pretty good, but with enough experience in the genre, this just wasn't worth my time. I should have dropped this far sooner but I got baited into expecting more than beaten clichées by the apparent self-consciousness of the author in that regard.
I guess he conned me into wasting 5 hours of my life.
omission | 3 outras críticas | Oct 19, 2023 |
What happens when a con man stumbles into a magic ritual and accidentally gets a god stuck in his mind?

Now take your amused little answer, toss it aside and read what Mr. Erickson did with that question.

That's all. Go.

Seriously, read the sample on amazon and let his work speak for itself.
terriaminute | 3 outras críticas | Dec 4, 2022 |
Fidelias | 3 outras críticas | Jan 9, 2020 |
I really liked this book. It's got a good bit of action and likeable characters. The writing is smooth and everything flows well.

Gabe is a fun character to root for. His personality has just the right amount of smart-assery to make him interesting without taking him over the top. Heather is a nice mix of sexy and badass. The villains are well written.

I'm looking forward to diving into the next book.
egaston | 3 outras críticas | Dec 5, 2019 |
This was another fun adventure with Gabe and his new buddies (one's a minotaur). We've got golems, and shadow ninjas, and dragons (oh my). A lot happens in this book. There's a ton of action and activity. Yet amidst all the hustle and bustle, Erikson does a good job with character development. We see Gabe move from a self-reliant, smart-ass con artist to a caring, smart-ass team player with a heart. There are plenty of twists and turns. The story moves along at a fairly fast pace. This series has turned out to be a great addition to the urban fantasy genre.

Side note: I listened to the audiobook version. Erikson narrated the book himself and he did a fantastic job. Excellent acting and great job with the different voices.
egaston | Dec 5, 2019 |
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