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The Reader of Acheron (The Slaves of Erafor Book 1) Kindle Edition
About the Author
- ASIN : B00HS1532E
- Publisher : Perseid Press (January 4, 2014)
- Publication date : January 4, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 835 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 414 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0991057341
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,909 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This novel managed to provide a thoughtful commentary on the state of the education system, the importance of innovation, and morality—while somehow never becoming tedious. The characters were likeable; Quillion has a sharp mind and a sharp wit, using both to extract himself from dangerous situations (or get himself into them!); and Kikkan is a man who struggles with doubt over his worth and the ethics of his actions. They were well-written, interesting, and three-dimensional, and I loved them both! I enjoyed the setting, which is many years in the future after some calamity which set our technology back to the dark ages. The diction and writing style flowed beautifully and felt authentic. I was somewhat disappointed in the ending, though. There was action and death and the converging of the two characters’ paths, but the way Cassius died was anticlimactic and not befitting such a built-up character. Furthermore, there were only two female characters in the whole book (not counting the child)—one died almost immediately, and the other is portrayed as a cowardly bitch. This is very much a story of men, and while it is not a crime to have no female leads, it would still be nice to have some interesting women that are given more than just one page of dialogue.
Overall, The Reader of Acheron was an enjoyable read, and I look forward to the sequel.
I found it an “easy” read in that it kept my attention throughout the entire novel. I usually read 5 or more books simultaneously , switching back and forth when plot lags, etc. But I was quite content to read Reader of Acheron from beginning to end without the need for other diversions – a testament , at least for me, to his ability as a story teller.
Rhein’s post-apocalyptic world is convincing and has sufficient diverse characters to entertain even zombie fans. In fact, I prefer Rhein’s zombies as they seem far more believable than what passes for today’s undead. Further, the author has created protagonists that we actually care about.
I was pleasantly surprised with the ending, not expecting what occurred, realizing Rhein had provided subtle foreshadowing so that the denouement was not out of the ordinary.
Perhaps the one “complaint” I have is that Kikkan, the slave, seemed too linguistically erudite than a slave could be expected, given the condition and existence of a slave. But this is truly minor in this otherwise excellent novel . Further, I finished the novel wishing the subsequent volume was already available.
By the time I reached page fifty, I was hooked! Kikkan, bootlicker and slave, had meager beginnings but emerged as my favorite character. His journey and internal struggle are very compelling and made me want to read through the other perspectives in the book to get back to his storyline like I did with Jon and Tyrion in A Song of Ice and Fire. His human condition is captured really well by Rhein and it brings Kikkan to life as a three dimensional character.
I want to be fair and pinpoint a flaw in The Reader of Acheron but that is a tough thing to do. The writing is solid, the pacing is great, and overall it’s easy to read. There are similarities in his storyline to other works (Kikkan reminds me of Spartacus to an extent) but with the author's additions, the story is actually quite unique.
It’s been a fun adventure watching Walter Rhein grow as a writer and get better with each piece. Even I was surprised how fast the storyline was able to reel me in. Looking forward to this series and his future releases.
Top reviews from other countries
There is a prologue to the tale, which I’m not certain is essential and which may even stop some readers from moving into the tale itself. I have to tell you that it’s definitely worth getting past this short barrier. The real story, couched in language that evokes another time, builds inexorably to the denouement and an ending that closes this portion of what is clearly going to be a continuing adventure for those characters remaining.
There are two story threads that interweave. Initially, there appears to be no connection between these accounts, though clues and hints slowly build. Both tales describe the domain in which the characters exist, unfolding a world of slavery and class, where those not in the upper strata are either drug-addled slaves in everything including name or are paid slaves in everything but name. The whole of society is structured to maintain the status quo of those few with power and position.
Characters are well drawn and have their idiosyncrasies, making them human and accessible. As with a great number of books in this genre, women are little represented. But that results from the narrative viewpoints, which, in one case reduces female contact to the wife and child of the slave owner and, in the other, provides the typical mercenary soldier’s view of women.
There is a well expressed underlying theme here of the abuse of knowledge; the way in which society may be structured in such a way as to filter information and program learning so that it truly benefits only those at the peak of the social pyramid. Those in power, curating the knowledge, have a terror of their underlings discovering this knowledge, of course. The message is sobering and pertinent, but doesn’t get in the way of the story, which is well told and absorbing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I was able to empathise with the characters and understand their motives, desires, hopes and anxieties. There is a great adventure here, but there is also a great deal more going on beneath the surface, and I have no hesitation in recommending this book. I look forward to the sequels.
Power is key, and its definitions are rapier sharp in this book. More than a fantasy, more than a dystopian novel, this is in part a social commentary. Don't let that put you off, as this is also a well-written adventure complete with swords, monsters, heroes and villains and with a dark humour and intelligence throughout.
I'm not a fan of a prologue either and sad to say, the one here didn't change my mind, although that's a personal preference so don't let it sway you because the rest of the book is excellent. I really enjoyed the setting, an almost medieval world, post the technological age and the characters were well rounded and interesting. There were plenty of threads running in the story and I found myself watching the progress bar on my kindle and realising that there was no way every single thread could be tied off in what was left and I knew I'd be looking for the next in the series.
If you are a fan of a great story, you should read this book. It has great pace and depth and will keep you hooked, not just on this one, but on what's to come.