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Fade to Black: Book One: The Weir Chronicles Paperback – September 5, 2014
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The biggest issue with it is that it reads like a movie. It is incredibly fast paced, with minimal details, minimal worldbuilding and little history. The last 10% in particular is pretty terrible.
One example of lack of details: The MC's closest companions are twin girls. The girls are called 'channels', but beyond some in action sequences the reader is never explained what a 'channel' is, why they are needed, what they can do, why they are important etc...
This seems to be indicative of some new authors so I am willing to give the sequel a chance- but if it is not better I will probably stop reading it.
Sue Duff weaves a wonderful story magic and mayhem. Her characters are complex and have their own agendas. Sometimes those goals align. Other times, not so much. They come together in a vivid universe that will keep you turning pages long into the night. An engaging story for readers of any age.
The Weir Chronicles, Book 1
By: Sue Duff
Narrated by: Christopher J Mayer
This is an audible book I requested and the review is voluntary.
I really liked this paranormal book about an illusionist, but his secret is that they are not illusions. He does magic. Then off stage he does help those in need. Unfortunately, a nosy gal is on to him and has figured out he is the one helping people. She didn't know how deep things really went until she started poking around.
A very good and exciting book with fantasy, magic, action, adventure, danger, suspense, and a touch of romance thrown in too. A great story.
The narrator made the book really "POP". Not only could he do all the strange voices but he had to do several women's voices and many of them with foreign accents. LOL. He did them perfect and I didn't stop to think at the time that it was a man doing the voices. It was only later I thought how hard that must have been. Great job.
Long answer: Ian is a complex and believable character. He isn’t your usual selfless hero–he cares more about his own freedom than his nebulous “duty” (at least in the beginning) . . . This makes everything so much more realistic. We see a kid struggling to come to terms with a childhood of captivity as well as having the fate of the planet (literally) resting on his shoulders. Ian grows as a character throughout the book and again, it’s in a realistic and believable way. The events of Fade to Black affect not only Ian’s heart but the hearts of the readers as well. I truly enjoyed his journey of self-discovery.
It’s refreshing to see a book in this genre with a male protagonist! Usually the YA paranormal/fantasy genre is full of mousy self-esteem-less whiny girls (wait . . . why is this my favorite genre again?). But seriously, this genre tends to cater to the female audience and leans heavily on female protagonists. Fade to Black unabashedly backs a strong male character and that makes the story even better! That’s not to say there aren’t good female characters. I love that the twins are Ian’s beautiful, mind reading body guards. That was a neat touch and a great way to show off some kick butt women!
The action is fast paced and switches from one point of view to another quickly . . . this can make things a bit confusing, especially during the climax of the story. Once the main characters split up, it seems like every page jumps to a different scene, timeline, or character. I found myself having to backtrack a couple of times to figure out where I was and who I was following. This could have been a little more fluid in my opinion.
I love the “forbidden love” and can’t wait to see how it pans out. I didn’t think I liked Rayne at first, and I was disappointed she was Ian’s love interest, but thanks to the twist caused by her father I’m totally loving the angle. Lovers that can’t touch! LOVE IT!
The book is a little heavy on action and short on exposition. I would have loved to have a little more world building and background on the Weir, and I’m hoping to see that in the second book. Usually the readers follow a new character into the paranormal world and learns about it with said character, but since our protagonist grew up in the Weir world, readers have to glean information about it from conversations that take place. Even Rayne and Patrick, the outsiders, are clueless for the better part of the story, leaving readers in the dark as well.
The plot is unique and interesting and the story tied up just enough loose ends to satisfy readers while leaving plenty to tempt readers to jump into the next book!
Would I recommend it: I sure would! If you are in to this genre, go ahead and pick it up! I will caution you–you may find yourself NEEDING to read the next book right away. It took me quite a bit of discipline (and sleep deprivation) to go to bed instead of staying up all night to start the second book! Enjoy!
As reviewed by Sara at Every Free Chance Books.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The first half of this book was pure fantasy. With exciting magic and mysticism, I was drawn into the story wanting to get to know the characters more. The fact that Ian and friends, apart from Patrick, were more than mere Illusionists intrigued me, and I had to know their secret. Especially when Rayne came knocking on their door, because it really seemed to disturb them – her snooping for answers. There was obviously more to her as well, and I was even more intrigued to find out what her tie in was with the Weir.
Once everyone descended upon Rogue Basin this story took a turn into the sci-fi. Secrets were revealed, unravelling a dark plot that could very easily lead to the end of the world, and dooming a romance that hadn’t even taken of flight yet.
Action-packed from start to finish this book was enthralling and I could not put it down for a second. The ending was a bit of a cliff-hanger and I am excited to continue on this journey with the characters because I have many questions that need to be answered – Will Rayne and Ian ever have a chance at love? What does Aeros have planned? And ultimately, will good triumph over evil. I cannot wait for more.
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