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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
14


on December 18, 2015
Since the boom in digital publishing, the self-publishing industry has seen some incredible success stories. Unknowns have shot to stardom with books like The Martian, originally published on a blog, becoming overnight best-seller sensations. However, the stigma around self-publishing – that they are poorly-edited vanity projects – remains an obstacle that makes it a difficult industry to break into. Reviewers receive dozens of requests for self-published sci-fi or speculative fiction. It can be very rewarding to find gems that stand out from the deluge of copy-cat George RR Martin or Neal Stephenson wannabes. The Raven of Dusk: Transcendence is one such diamond in the rough; the world is unique, and the plot is intriguing.

The twelve city-states of Noreis have been built upon the ruins of a civilization that vanished into mythology. The Theory of Transcendence vanished with them, and its very existence is a closely held secret that, if revealed, could destroy the whole world. The narrative follows four main characters: Eliza, a gifted young woman who aspires to work for Representative Vila Pirral. Pirral, however, harbors a secret of her own, which could lead to her own execution. Raiden Arlas crosses paths with them as he seeks vengeance to protect his son, while the dynastic hero, Koston Donnick’s son rejects his family’s legacy. And beneath it all, the Ravens watch, waiting for their moment to create their own destiny.

Transcendence drops the reader right into the action, with minimal world-building faff. The world itself is vibrant, rich and there is a sense of it having developed over time; it is a place with a rich history and multiple cultures balancing as they try to live in harmony. Women rule beside men, and inter-species breeding is forbidden. It is a world much like ours in terms of politics, but just different enough to feel alien; characters use telecoms much like our smartphones, but the cars can fly and some people have four arms. I think the setting is the strongest point of the novel, and I would like to see more books set in this world, once the story of Ravens of Dusk is complete. Greer does not waste too much time describing the setting, rather hinting at it and letting it take form inside the reader’s mind. I see this as a strength, and welcome the current trend towards shorter SFF without the padding we see in books like The Wheel of Time.

The biggest weakness, on the other hand, is the editing. With frequently misused words jarring me out of my immersion in the world, I felt that they significantly affected my enjoyment of the book. It can be difficult for self-published authors to find editors that they can afford, but I think that in the end it is worth it. Ideally, I think this book would be worth investing in by a publishing house who could apply their resources to it, for example making clearer maps, fine-tuning the language and making the style of the dialogue a little more consistent. The story is good and the suspense kept the pages turning; the characters are relatable and the world is magnificent and well-crafted. It just needs a bit of polish to really shine.

Greer’s debut novel is a fine effort, and with a little tweaking I think it could be successful. It deals with mature themes like politics, philosophy, and filial love, and I liked that it included LGBTQI+ themes without making them a gimmick. The women are mentally as strong as the men, although at times I was disappointed as they cowered and whimpered in the arms of slightly stronger men. The complexity of the world begs for more exploration, and the cliffhanger ending makes me eager to read the second book in this two-part series. Ravens of Dusk: Transcendence is an exciting and fresh novel, and Anthony Greer is an author worth watching.

Read more of my reviews on Literogo.com
I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair, honest review.
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on November 17, 2015
Author Anthony Greer provided me a print copy of The Raven of Dusk: Transcendence for review.

This book is an interesting blend of medieval, present, and even futuristic elements. Knights, queens, castles, cell phones, gun blades, and air shuttles.

Plenty of action, and political intrigue. The Raven of Dusk: Transcendence the first in the The Raven of Dusk series. There are several intertwining story lines to enjoy here. A father and his estranged son, a woman in trouble, a girl whose intelligence separates her from her peers, a man seeking vengeance, and a man living under the weight of his family history.These themes are skillfully woven into a remarkably coherent and easy to follow narrative. Although you know how much I like cliffhangers, the ending of this book was not too abrupt, I was more or less ready for it.

The negative is, once again, proofreading. There were more mistakes than should be found in a print copy. Since there is a barcode and price on the book I surmise (not assume) that this is not a galley or arc. If it is my apologies to the author. But, misusing words like "passed" instead of "past" and the like should not make it into a final version. Fortunately these were not so numerous as to interfere with my enjoyment of the book. But you know me, typos and other errors are a "button" for me and I have to comment.

Errors aside The Raven of Dusk: Transcendence is a very good read that I think you will find entertaining (and isn't that why we read in the first place?). Enjoy!

Mike
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on October 8, 2015
I read this book probably months ago, and forgot to leave my review. I can still remember the characters, the action, the imaginative and well depicted world that the author creates. It feels more like a movie that I watched, rather than a book I read. What does that tell you?? It rocked. I'll be buying the next in the series right away!
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on July 28, 2015
Clear, forward moving narrative that keeps you hooked and engaged for hours on end. Many night of sleep lost to the adventures of the characters. The world has been intricately thought out and created. This is one crazy story and the vivid world of Noreis is full of potential to explore.

I'm ready for the next book to come out!
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on July 18, 2015
I enjoyed the world painted by the author and I'm intrigued to find out more. It is most definitely one part of a series that leaves you wanting more by the end.
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on June 27, 2015
There are those who write books and storytellers who create life, Anthony Greer is a gifted storyteller. From the minute you pick up his books you are pulled completely into another world, he creates exactly what we hope for when we thumb through the pages of a novel......escape. I cared about the characters from the first bending of the book's spine and was disappointed when the final page passed through my fingertips. If you are looking for a book to add to your summer reading list I highly suggest, Anthony Greer's "The Raven of Dusk". It is suspenseful and riveting! If this book is just the beginning of his career than I cannot wait for what he has in store in his future! A must read!
One person found this helpful
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on June 13, 2015
I just couldn't really get into it, needed more of a hook.
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on May 23, 2015
I enjoyed the book.
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on May 23, 2015
I have over 400 science fiction titles behind me on my shelves, and while I love a good ray-gun and rocket ship tale, I've also found that as I became a more sophisticated reader I was more interested in why characters were firing their ray-guns, or what drove them to propel themselves across worlds and into space.

The Raven of Dusk, Transcendence delves into the sociopolitical conflicts driving the characters as a representation of modern political conflicts played out on the alien planet of Noreis in the arenas of religion, politics, persecution, and power. Hifalutin concepts aside, Greer approaches his subjects in a very personal manner, from the viewpoints of each of his characters. This shifting focus allows us insight into each personality and what causes them to act as they do and makes the novel very approachable. The decisions the characters feel natural in their progression, not as if the reader is being led to a conclusion or preached to.

The book does start off hot, insofar as the reader is dumped straight into the action, but once you get your footing, you'll find yourself keeping up, and turning the pages eagerly for more.

One aside: Mr. Greer, I believe you owe me several hours of sleep since you kept me up reading one night. :-)
3 people found this helpful
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on May 17, 2015
I'm glad I was asked to read this book. I loved it! I have been reading more sci-fi lately than I thought and sometimes I am not into it. But this book was good! I think if you like sci-fi or you are looking for something different check this book out. I think you will enjoy it too! There were several different characters viewpoints but they all live in a strange alien world. * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
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