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The Changelings (Matthew's Prophecy) (Volume 1) Paperback – June 2, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
As a contributing editor for"Southern Living", Rebecca Lang is featured in weekly cooking segments on the nationally syndicated show "Daytime", which reaches 85 million households. She is a contributing editor for myrecipes.com and writes a monthly column, "Girls' Night In," for the site. Her food writing has appeared in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution Flavors Magazine, Edible Atlanta", and "Legacy Magazine". Having taught hundreds of classes, Lang is an accomplished cooking instructor and travels the country teaching classes in cooking schools and to groups as large as 1,200 students.
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Top customer reviews
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I bought this book since the plot sounded decent and 600+ pages for an author's first book is rare these days when Amazon is drowning in books of around 300 pages.
To me the greatest strength of the book were the passages focused on Sylvie and to a lesser extent Brooke. Sylvie's time with the Ku Rokai revealed interesting depths within the Ku Rokai characters and their culture. Sylvie was also the character that felt most relevant to the plot. Brooke's friendship with the gryphons was beautiful and at times cleverly built up - I also felt like her character had a lot of development. Unlike other new authors this one is not plagued by bad spelling or grammar - a smooth read in that regard.
The problems with the book is mostly that the plot is sprawling all over the place - the author have tried to fit in all kinds of events and plot devices the result of which is that there is no clear focus in the story and the book suffers badly from it.
Perhaps the best example of this is that right from the beginning we learn that there is a prophecy - but not what the prophecy says until the end of the book which makes it quite meaningless and frustrating the few times it is the motivation for certain characters' actions. For the majority of the book the focus is instead on the struggle against the Ku Rokai with a lot of events that doesn't really contribute to anything more than arranging reunions with characters that have been traveling.
It is also unclear what the purpose is of using changelings as a plot device - it just adds another layer of complexity without leading anywhere. The few times it is used it is to explain certain preferences or skill proficiency that the characters could just as well have had by being ordinary humans.
The motivations of the "core" characters was mostly clear, however the motivation of more peripheral characters was often unclear and while it is fine to have characters that are initially clad in mystery that mystery turns into a very flat uninteresting character if you are not given some insight fairly quickly. Warden should never have made it into the book - whiny and no purpose whatsoever more than "in love with Sylvie".
All in all I believe that this author could write very engaging stories if she had a good editor or someone else that can push for a more clearly defined focus.
This is a long book but it reads quickly. The author keeps up a fast pace and gives us only the details we need. So pay attention. This book has griffins and several new type of fantasy creatures. It is also fun to identify the changelings and their original creatures.
The book has a prologue. I strongly suggest reading it as the first chapter. The settings vary from the dessert to redwood forest, Ice Mountains and plains. I also notice a strong Japanese influence in the second half of the book. The ending is clever to end part 1. It does end at a very logical place but it demands a book two which I assume will be coming soon.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.