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Highmage's Plight (Highmage’s Plight Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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What I would have liked to know before I bought this book. (minor spoilers)
1. What type of book is it: adventure, action, drama, etc? This is not so much a book as a series of short, comic book length, stories bound together to form a larger tale.
2. What is the story about, in general? The story is about George, the archeologist of a distant future as he travels a magical planet with his super advanced magically enhanced computer.
3. What/Who is the target audience? Teenagers and Young Adults. I wish the book had more for Adults, given George's age, but it honestly sheds maturity as the pages turn.
4. How is the proofreading? Below average, with more than a few missing words, switched words, extra words, kindle format errors and such. It is not the worst proofed book I've read, but it sure is among the top 20. This work was put in a word processor and given a simple "Spellcheck". It shows.
5. Is there character development or exploration? We explore George and his group, but beyond George only 1 secondary character is mildly compelling. The rest, though not specifically cliché, ACT in cliché manners and roles. Not fun for me.
6. Are the characters likable? George is unlikable. As much as he is supposed to be intelligent, he feels unreasonable, mulish, stubborn and, eventually, like he is sulking. I tried to find good qualities, and the only `good' one I can find is that his flaws aren't worse! George has the sort of personality that most authors relegate to a secondary character; perpetually stubborn and irate even while caring for people's lives. He is an intellectual diva. I half expect him to say things like `How dare you!' because of his sense of self-righteous indignation.
7. Do you have to suspend disbelief? I can't say I paid a lot of attention. The multiple stories `comic format' threw me off too much for me to give this much thought. At a glance, I'd say no, but perhaps someone who was able to immerse themselves better could say differently. Sorry, I wish I could help you more on this point.
8. Does the story keep its pacing? Sorry but, no. Every single important conflict encounter is known by the reader before it happens. Brigands going to attack? We have brigands talking about how they going to attack. Dark sorcerers on the horizon? We have scenes of gloating by the sorcerers. Monsters coming? We have scenes of the monsters as they approach. There are NO surprises.
It's like having Dr. Doom gloating in a panel "You shall die by my hand Fantastic 4. I shall use the X-Materializer to destroy you tomorrow at 1 PM after a light lunch, when I know you are vulnerable!" Then have Dr. Doom attack at 1:02PM just to be unpredictable. (shakes head).
As every couple of `chapters' is a different story, we have to contend with a whole set of antagonists every time a new 'mini story' begins. Again, it's a comic book format. Today Spiderman fights Condor! Tomorrow Rhino. The next day the Hobgoblin! Yet, behind it all is the sinister Demon Lord controlling everything! WOW. I mean how cheesy can you get?
To add the final nail to this boy fantasy, George has more than one female warrior vying for his affection. They climb into bed with him, bath him, rub their nipples and bodies on him. They LITERALLY beg him to impregnate them while he stoically resist! Oh the agony! (laughs). This one, I admit, is so shallow and over the top that it made me laugh.
9. Is the book worth the asking price? It's only $3. You might not find my criticism compelling or useful, thus buy the ebook. Make up your own mind.
In conclusion: This is a teenage boy fantasy comic book story without pictures. The pacing is very clunky, but mitigatingly fast. In some places, visions and dreams are mixed with waking moments WITHOUT enough identifiers to differentiate between them. Sometimes multiple people are having visions at the same time. Sometimes the people IN the visions don't know what's going on either. This makes for a very confusing read. The main protagonist is unlikable, and his recalcitrant attitude becomes childish, even unintelligent, as time passes. Women are portrayed as strong, but also as needful, vaguely abusive, and clingy. Thus, though my boyish imagination enjoys the possibility of skin, I don't like their personalities either. That leaves me with a lot of unlikable characters, predictable comic book length mini stories and cheesy antagonists. The proofreading is below average, with more than a few mistakes. The price is cheap at $3 but it's a `buy at your own risk' book. With no likable main characters, no compelling antagonists, cliché secondary characters, and clunky pacing, the only thing I can enjoy is the shallow boy fantasy harem sexual tension and that its not dull. I'm sorry to say that is simply NOT enough.
The only thing that disappointed me about these novels was the editing. Through the first few books, at least, there appeared to be no punctuation for scene transitions and it took some patience to get used to the jarring mid-paragraph switches. I don't know if this was simply an issue with the mobile Kindle app or my S6 Edge phone, but I learned to cope and enjoyed the story as intended.
Good job, author. I will be on the edge of my seat waiting for book 7.
As the first book by a new author it is quite good - I have definitely seen first books by other now well established authors that were much worse. As such this is definitely an author to watch.
The one issue that I did have with the book is that it does not really read as a continuous story particularly since the book ends at a point that would be at best half way through the story. Instead the book reads more like a series of episodes that involve the same characters. Yes the adventures continue on one after the other but throughout it seems like one adventure has to be completely finished and resolved before the next adventure can start and that makes the book read more like a series of short stories about the same characters rather than as the first part of a novel (and the way it just cuts off at the end means that it definitely is no more than a part of a novel).
This story is very good, I found it enthralling and truly enjoyed it. The price is great, the fact that there are 4 in the series is very nice and there are more coming (I hope!!!). A great value for my money and when I put the book down, I could not wait to start the next one in the series. They are long in length, and full of great characters and plot is just twisty enough to be enjoyable.
I would give this book a 5 star rating if it was actually a complete book. However this book builds up a plot line and then ends in the middle of the plot. A lot of stories will leave you with a cliffhanger ending, this book didn't even make it to the cliff.