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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Gnoll Credo
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2015
Well where do I start, this is the Atlas Shrugged of the paleo diet world. If you want a echo chamber for (and I use this term really bloody loosely) philosophies you already subscribe to, then this book is for you!

But if you are like me, and were expecting a fantasy novel with imaginative world building and a clash of cultures aesthetic, boy are you going to be disappointed. This book is a treatise/polemic lightly and ineffectively sprinkled with the trapping of a fiction novel, you may as well have read philosophical essay from the author. What little actual fantasy world building is mildly enjoyable, sparse and poorly written with little thought to cohesion and continuity(sentences, syntax and the occasional prop are decidedly modern for a world still ruled by monarchies with swords and knights).

The first person narrative also gives some mild amusement albeit for the wrong reasons. When your character is, and I'm paraphrasing here, 'struck speechless by the awesome beauty of gnoll logic' it helps to have the reader also equally impressed (which uniformally at each of these moments I was not). Otherwise the titular main character Aidan, just looks particularly dumb. There is quite a few of these episodes, by the end of it I was firmly convinced that Aidan O'Rourke was quite the rube.

Look I could go on, but I wasted enough effort slogging through this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2014
This book is not for everyone. A number of other reviews have done a better job summarizing the book. What I can say is that this is the kind of book that will more likely "preach to the choir" rather than bring new members into the fold.

That said, if you've felt a disconnect or dissatisfaction with the way things are, but you can't quite put your finger on it, or if you are interested in survival or minimalist living, there's a good chance you'll be interested in this and be able to see it for what it is. The book is unusual in it's subject matter, but if you fall into one of the aforementioned categories or if you're an open minded person, this book will likely make you stop and think about what its deeper message is.

It's a quick and easy read, and the characters and method of telling the story are well done. As I've said, other reviews do much greater justice to the book itself. All I can say is that if you like it and it speaks to you, share it with others, but be prepared for them not to be. Most of the people I've shared it with haven't finished it, because it was "too weird" or "shocking".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2014
Would definitely buy this if you made it available on kindle. I don't buy paper books anymore! I hope you consider this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2014
I've been considering reading this novel for quite a while now. Reading the synopsis, I had my doubts initially, expecting yet another twist on the Pocahontas story, though with hyena people rather then blue aliens.

That being said, I took the chance, and was not disappointing. In fact, I have been unable to get the story out of my head.

The story is told in a series of dialogues between the two main characters, Aiden O'Rourke, a human ethnologist, and Gryka, a female Gnoll. The characters may at first appear to be somewhat flat, as I feel the story sort of thrusts the reader right into the main point without any subtly. Their relationship seems to build without much real incentive. However, as the novel progresses, the characters seem grow into themselves.

Once I started reading, I found it impossible to stop, which really speaks for the characters. The two characters managed to win over my attention based solely on the strength of their unusual relationship with each other.

The entire point of the novel seemed to try and argue a philosophy based around returning to nature in a sense, which speaks to me personally. That in mind, it was easy to overlook the sometimes confusing setting (established government seeming to be medieval one moment, then discussing the use of bicycles, and smart phones.) This setting was used as a metaphor, and did indeed further the philosophy being proposed.

Overall, I loved the book and would definitely suggest it to anyone who longs for a simpler life with less needless complications. It is a quick read that I put away in only 4 hours (when I should have been sleeping.) I've never had such a short read stay with me long after it's done.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2014
This is a good read so far. Haven't had a lit of time to read all of it but the story thus far is good and keeps me interested. Just have lot's going on at the moment. Will comment later.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2014
I don't really read novels, but this one is worth it. It's a very interesting commentary on modern life and humanity in general.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2013
It was a good read. Very thought provoking and it inspired me to buy a crossbow. I have recommended it to my hubs and boss and even my young children (except that I would make them skip some parts). It makes you ponder our existence and how we lost the point of existence (which is to pretty much keep existing)...but without so much stuff. Good to help you heighten your everyday awareness and get back to living by instinct. I want to take up hunting now and plucking my own chickens but not in a misogynistic kind of way, just because I feel I really should know how to do this and attempt at deriving my own food-in case I really have to one day!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2013
I really enjoyed Jon's book. It is a very creative story and a quick easy read. Jon also has a cool website [...]
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2013
While the overall character development was too contrived to make much sense, and the philosophy was somewhat undeveloped, this book still manages to create memorable characters, concepts, and locations. If you're willing to meet it halfway then it has things to say.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2013
This was a very interesting read. I enjoyed the storyline between the characters but the author seemed to jump around a lot on the period in history it was taking place.
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