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Orb: Book Three of the Nightlord Series Kindle Edition
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If you are reading this, the you probably read the last two books, and if you didn’t enjoy the monumental cliffhanger book two ended on, then I don’t recommend you read this one either. Again we end on a cliffhanger and again the character ends up in a bad situation, because he gets a bad case of plot convenient stupidity. And I don’t mean a slight case of stupid either, I mean: “why in the ever-loving universe would you ever do that”. Then again you might enjoy a cliffhanger or chose to overlook it because you enjoy the universe or the character. In that case, this book will also disappoint you.
I liked the character in the last book, until the end of the book he was fun, smart and had some agency. In short he got things done and the writing was funny.
In this book, that is gone. Nothing major happens in this book and all that agency he had before is now gone. The character just reacts to things. Every time, EVERY SINGLE TIME, he starts to think about doing something proactive he thinks better of it or gets distracted. He acts less smart as well, and no “mister author” you don’t get to hang a lampshade om that and then leave it be. Arbitrarily making your character stupid does not make for an enjoyable read, if that was what made him fun in the first place.
Now it isn’t all bad, the writing is still funny in places, and the protagonist gets to be badass a few times, which is why it gets two stars. But, by the end of the book, nothing had been resolved and I could see the writer winding up to another cliffhanger. By the last 50 pages or so I was just waiting for it, and it was just as bad as the last book. It seems to be a theme with this writer. A cliffhanger can be fun, it can be surprising and it can leave you anticipating the next book with baited breath. Garon Whited doesn’t do cliffhangers well, it isn’t surprising, it isn’t fun and I don’t expect the protagonist to get out of it in a clever way, since the Deus ex machina is literally hinted at by the end. In short, spare yourself the aggravation and skip it.
An example of why this book annoys me: At one point near the end the character get captured, and is left alone for hours on end. Now you would think he would be planning his escape, right? Nope, he spends the time perfecting a spell meant to make his horse faster and making curry taste less strong. This is not because he is confident of his escape, no he just thinks it’s a better use of his time. And this gets repeated over and over in the book, every time you would think the main character would maybe focus on something, he gets distracted and goes off on a tangent, even when it makes no damn sense.
I do apologize for the spelling. English is not my first language. Thank you for your time and I hope this review was helpful.
As for this one, well hell ... I don't even know what to say.
So the score. I started at five and here is my reasoning
Lets start with the positive
The start is pretty good. It shows how he is rescued and some of the fallout from the time he was the Demon king. I liked this and I honestly think it is the potential of the start that got me through the rest of the book, hoping it would manage to live up to it. The rescue was comprehensive, the characters reacted well, and even the protagonists actions were reasonable.
His escape afterward was well thought out and his goals and actions afterward were mostly rational and positive, even the ones that weren't were not jarring within the context of what he had gone through. Hell he even displayed some cleverness and cunning. +1 Star
Next the side and secondary characters. They were good, far better then he was, not just cardboard cutouts. Fleshed out with personalities, goals, fears, and flaws. I especially liked Mary and the Four. + 1 Star
Now for the bad.
First the continuity errors. This book much like book 2 is plagued by numerous minor continuity errors. None are really bad, really most don't make much difference and can ignored but a few cause fairly significant changes in the plot. For example the wards against scrying and location spells.
In book 1 he made a spell that made him immune to scrying and location spells, none of the magic users of the time could beat it. However for book 2 this spell was simply not mentioned and he had to relearn a very similar one that was abit less effective but still incredibly good. In book 3 he has apparently forgotten both spells yet again and in spite of being tracked and hunted throughout most of the book he never uses either or tries to develop a new one. Instead he spends his time developing spells to do such things as make his food taste better (While being imprisoned and tortured no less). -1 Star
Nothing gets resolved in this book. There are a lot of things going on in this book and left over from the last and none get resolved. The story almost aggressively avoids resolving things, to the point of absurdity.
For instance the demon who stole his body and ruined his relationships, kingdom, made a mockery of everything he stood for, and oh yeah stole his life imprisoning him in his own little hell. You know who could conceivably take his body back and do it all again. You would think dealing with that on a permanent basis would be a priority right? You would be wrong, painfully wrong. This is far from the only example of this.
This is weird to say about a book this massive, but it felt like half a book. -1 Star
The protagonist is stupid. He doesn't start the story stupid, I mean he doesn't start out smart either but his intelligence is fairly reasonable. It is at least not low enough to bring the story down. That distinction doesn't last long though I'm afraid. It seems that after you get passed the first few chapters he slowly but steadily gets stupider with each and every page.
Do you remember the end of the last book? It was bad, not because he lost, or something bad happened to him, not even because he was tricked. It was bad because he ignored every clue, every hint, every bit of evidence. He ignored everything that he knew was wrong and strange about the whole thing, till the last part where he embraced a level of stupidity that made it seem like he almost conspired with the demon to get his body stolen. The worst part of book two hands down, remember that?
He gets to that level of stupidity about 2/3rds of the way through this book and keeps heading down. It's painful to read. To the books credit the other characters even comment on it, going on to give him advice of various levels of usefulness but all still far better anything he does. Hell even the sword that only wants to kill everything and burn it down has better ideas then him.
By the end a mentally impaired lemming who was then lobotomized would be smarter and would make better decisions then Halar was doing. This was so bad I have to take away two. -2 Stars
Now the ending. So the ending is capped out with a cliffhanger action so massively stupid I'm honestly without words. Now I know you probably thinking, but you already mentioned nothing is resolved and that the character is stupid. You are right but the ending is such an important part of a story and culminates everything wrong with the story so I felt it merited special mention.
Its like it took everything wrong with the end of the second story and went "Gee that was awesome, I need to double down on that". And to my horror it did. -1 Star
So there you have it. In summary the story was a rather large disappointment for me.
Slipping between a high-tech alternative reality and a sword-socery high magic reality, we get self-driving cars and magical living mountains, and, of course, our sarcastic and humorous, but increasingly tragic, vampire. This book was just as much fun as the last, but the ending sure left me hoping this poor guy isn't going to be spat out another hundred years in the future with everyone he knows dead or aged, as before. If he is.. well, I'll still keep reading.
I love these books, and I love Eric.