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The Great Restoration (A Tale of the Verin Empire Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 491 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The adventure takes place in a world where humanity has broken free from the tyranny of Elven rule through a combination of railroad tracks and gunpowder. A massive Exposition is planned in one of the major frontier cities, but the brilliant engineer behind the giant steel tower planned for its heart has disappeared. We follow along with private investigator Gus as he tries to solve the mystery of the missing man, and along the way we get a grand tour of the marvelous, dirty, Sherlock-Holmes-esque world Ray has provided.
The characters are interesting, flawed, and engaging, from the dapper singling goblin who owns a nightclub to the attractive matron of the arts who may not be all she seems, up to and including our protagonist and his plucky protocol-busting female assistant. I liked these people and the world they inhabit; it all felt very alive to me, and very real.
I say "real" because this is not the soaring towers and sylvan paradises you find in most high fantasy, where no one gets dirty and all the princesses are sparkly. This is a steampunk style world, where travelers have to keep all their money on them at all times because credit cards haven't been invented, full of soot and tar and the dirty sweat necessary to build up a steam-powered society from the ground up.
Yes, there's magic, but it's usually subtle and on the edges of human experience. Until, of course, it isn't, which is too much fun for me to spoil for you.
The writing style is engaging and exceptional, echoing the feel of an Arthur Canon Doyle novel or a Victorian period piece. The pacing is a bit slow in places, as another reviewer mentioned, but that for me was part of the pleasure -- that's how books from that period were written and this stylistic choice helped nail the atmosphere.
"The Great Restoration" is neither Grimdark nor Epic Fantasy, but something delightfully unique and entirely itself. With compelling characters, an engaging plot, and a world you'll love exploring, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something a little different in their fantasy reading.
The characters are well written and relatable. The goblin night club owner is definitely my favorite and I think a book focused on him and his club could be a lot of fun.
The imagery in this book is as vivid as in the first. It really gives you a feel for the world in which Gus operates. It's one that is rich in culture, history, and environment.
The book drops hints of what the next story may hold for the Verin Empire and it definitely has my interest peaked.
I gave the story for stars instead of five because I thought the pace was a bit slow in parts but I'm a really impatient reader and I don't think most readers will find this to be an issue.
While this book stands on its on, I highly recommend that you read Gedlund first if possible to get the full effect of the book.
As I finished the book, I felt a sense of sadness and loss. I had enjoyed living with the characters and will miss them! I now find myself looking forward to book #3 by this talented author.