- File Size: 894 KB
- Print Length: 456 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: September 2, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B014UKXT6W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,787 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Ravinor (The Ravinor Saga Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Author Travis Peck's very well-written novel tracks multiple points-of-view characters in the course of detailing what is shaping up to be the next global Ravinor War. We are introduced to the zombie-analogues Ravinors immediately, and the menace builds steadily as each chapter shows us another aspect of the danger the Empire and its denizens face. Ranging from country-dwelling military retirees to assassins on the way to a kill to the richest man in the realm and more, what we slowly discover is that these mindless killing machines may not be as simple to deal with as they were in the past.
Peck manages this juggling of his multiple characters well, weaving their personalities and the larger plot developments together to make the world come alive. I felt genuine anxiety in several parts and felt a great fondness for many of them. Only once did I get a bit lost in the chronology, which given the scope of the story is remarkable.
We all think we know what a zombie story is, but Peck builds upon our assumptions masterfully, until we finally get to see the true scope of the coming disaster and why the Ravinors are not simply the zombie analogs we take them for initially. I won't spoil it here but this is not just another tale of the crawling undead.
The closest comparison I can make to another well-known series is to Jim Butcher's "Furies of Calderon", minus the Pokemon. We have a vaguely Roman-esque civilization threatened by a horde of zombie-like foes, posing an existential threat to humanity itself.
Even though I don't typically like zombie-style stories, this one drew me in and made me thoroughly enjoy the ride (hating it all the while, of course, because this stuff is scary!). Peck's writing is a cut above most independently-published fiction. I'd say the story is more plot-driven than character-driven, but that's not to shortchange the admirable job he does making the subjects of the tale come to life.
The copy is very clean and largely free of typos or grammatical errors. I'd encourage anyone who enjoys fantasy world-building, especially with a horror slant to it, to read "Ravinor" -- like its namesake, you'll definitely be left hungry for more at the end.
This book is surely the way to find out!
The alternate POVs here were a great way of finding out the whole story from different angles. We have Garet, the retired soldier and his family: those who fight the ravinors. We’ve got Lerius, the healer: one who is knowledgeable about ravinor attacks and healing the infected. There’s Herris Mon Lyzink and Martel, the esteemed scholar and his apprentice: those who study the ravinors and have intimate firsthand knowledge of their habits. Ifo, the assassin: one who has killed many men, but has never met a ravinor face to face. Then, most interestingly and perhaps most bizarrely, we have Moira, the dreamer: one who has an intimate insider view of what the leaders of the ravinors are, and what people who are infected go through in their fever.
This one took two chapters to get me on board. The first actual chapter I wasn’t so sure about, it was okay, but some of the imagery had me slightly confused about the passage of time. But then Lerius’ first chapter, and our first look at the ‘ravinor dream’ got me hooked, then Ifo’s first chapter of just being badass and having like 12 knives secreted upon himself cemented it. I liked how the plot slowly but surely teaches us about the ravinors and what the world knows about them while some interludes in the story also let the world into the new and changing information as the story goes. It helps to have a scholar on the case.
The epilogue left me with many questions. I’m hoping that Moira finds a solution to her predicament, as does Lerius. I’m hoping that we find out what purpose Ifo’s POV served in the overall scheme of things (because I really liked Ifo’s POV but his story didn’t seem to correlate to anyone else’s quite yet), and I’m excited to see what sort of story Martel, Yurlo, and Mon Lyzink are going to be fed.
My only real criticism is that occasionally, a synonym for ‘ravinor’ would not go amiss. The word is used a lot sometimes, especially in the beginning when we’re still learning more or less what a ravinor is. Other words could be used instead in some instances to make the whole thing flow a little better. It’s really no big deal, but it was something I noticed.
All told, I thought that this was a great debut! It’s not perfect, but books rarely are, in my experience. This one has some great ideas that were presented in a way that was quite entertaining. All is not what it seemed at first!
I’m excited to find out where the story goes next!
Ravinor had me from the first few paragraphs: two young children playing in a summer pasture encounter a zombie/vampire-like creature – a ravinor – and flee to their father’s redoubt before the onset of night. This incident initiates a series of events that include an exhilarating siege, a large-scale massacre, an increasingly complex mystery and … well, it doesn’t really stop from there.
If, like me, you’ve read a number of ‘by-the-numbers’ fantasy novels, then Ravinor’s old style, down-to-earth adventure story really is a perfect antidote. Peck’s writing is engaging and appropriate to the subject matter and he has an appealing sense for descriptive detail and world-building that effectively drags you in. The characters are well developed and the action scenes are very exciting, particularly those involving the ongoing siege where the tension is really ramped up.
One of the most interesting things about this book is the high number of POVs (five – OK not GRR Martin’s scale but I thought that was high!). To be honest, this threw me a bit at first. Keen to continue from the events in the first chapter, I instead encountered a new character, then another and another with each of the subsequent four chapters. This initially has the effect of pulling you out of the story but once you get used to the formula, it actually works quite well as each character provides a different perspective and a different level of insight into the mysterious return of the ravinors and their diabolical plans for the Empire of Styr.
In summary, Ravinor is a lot of fun. You really can’t get much better than that.