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Rojuun: Willden Trilogy Paperback – May 18, 2012
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About the Author
John H. Carroll was the youngest of seven children and was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1970 where he was kept in a dresser drawer with the clean socks. Luckily, he wasn’t kept with the dirty socks or else he might have grown up to become slightly warped. As a child, John spent most of his time wandering through the Mojave Desert in an attempt to avoid people. He would stare at the sky, imagining what it would be like to explore different worlds. One of his favorite memories is watching his dad build the fuselage of Evel Kneivel’s skycycle in their garage. One of his least favorite moments was watching that skycycle fall into the Snake River. (Not his dad’s fault and he has documentation to prove it, so nyah) As a teenager, John spent most of his time driving wherever he could in an attempt to avoid people. He would stare at the road, imagining what it would be like to explore different worlds. He was the captain of the chess team, lettered in golf and band while in high school, and wasn’t beaten up anywhere near as much as one might imagine. As an adult, John spends most of his time staring at a computer screen in an attempt to avoid people. He stares at the monitor for hours, imagining what it would be like to explore different worlds. He has been married to his wonderful wife for 14 years and they have three obnoxio . . . wonderful children who always behave . . . when they’re asleep. Emo bunny minions surround John at most times. He is their imaginary friend and they look to him for guidance. At one point, they took over the world. No one noticed because they left everything exactly as it was. They gave the world back after a week because it was depressing. The Willden Trilogy is his first endeavor into the field of writing. Other series and standalone works will be forthcoming. In addition, John has written a number of short stories he publishes for free because he likes you so much. (And it’s good marketing. Shh) He writes in the evenings and weekends whenever possible. Regrettably, the family mentioned in the previous paragraph desires food and shelter, requiring the author to possess a full time job until his writing makes him rich.
Top customer reviews
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It wasn't necessarily... "too light" of a novel for me... But modern phrases like "I know right?" and "smoochy, smoochy, smoochy!" (or whatever it was) made the book uncomfortable to read at times for me... The humor in the dialog seemed heavily out of place in the novel, like they were shoved in, ill fitting to it's environment. In some instances I could see the author was trying to "lighten the mood" of the situation, but the particular brand of humor she chose to convey in writing just didn't work very well.
Another thing was that the book seemed to have no clear cut plot, really, until the characters are (too late in the novel, IMO) given the task of helping a group of individuals, which leads them to helping another group of individuals in a way that was unexpected. The book seemed to take forever to start off, and the climax or interesting point seemed to come too late in the novel. Everything after that felt too cramped and rushed. It would have done better as a longer novel that gave the proper attention deserved to the latter portions.
Other than that, I found the story imaginative, the characters... Interesting and the storyline enjoyable.
For more of my reviews, see my Goodreads account here: [...]
Unlike some of the reviewers I enjoyed the way the story started. Where others thought it was slow I thought it gave us a chance to see the different sides to each character. One of the characters has been described as Jar Jar Bind like and I have to disagree. He was confused and affected by a head trauma that had become infected. As soon as he started talking I knew exactly what he was but apparently a lot of readers were just as shocked as his traveling companions once his true identity was openly revealed.
Another complaint some had was feeling that the heroine was weak because she asked for help from a man. I did not feel that way at all. Through out the story she keeps admonishing the men that she is just as capable as them in fighting and proves it repeatedly. It wasn't until she had endured a horrible attack and was fighting her way out and collapsing from exhaustion that she finally screams out for help. Even then it wasn't done thinking someone was going to truly answer but from desperation and as she was collapsing as she no longer had the strength to keep going.
In all I think the author did a great job creating a new world and some new creatures. I felt the characters developed nicely as not all is revealed all at once. Rather it feels like you get to know them just as you would in real life, a little at a time. I can't wait to read the next two in the trilogy.
Now here is the thing - I don't need a story to be gritty or dark to find it good. I could handle what came next... but not both in the same book.
What do I mean? After some brief and perfunctory mourning, the tone gradually became more and more comical. Tathan, the character with 14 years of grim experience in travel and danger, started deferring to his completely world-inexperienced teenage cousin. She, in turn, was revealed to be a borderline Mary Sue teenage magic girl. Then things became even more dissonant with the arrival of two new characters; the prancing purple dragonish thing Vevin, and Sir Danth, who despite having been on oath-bound watch in a treasure cave for sixteen hundred years, and likely undead, quickly turns into a ridiculous slapstick figure.
In tandem with the shift to a comic tone, the writing became more adolescent. Liselle, Vevin, and Danth proceeded to blunder about cluelessly, yet without consequences, while Tathan's objections were very nearly always proven wrong. An initially impressive and mysterious character declined to being the fool or comic foil of the bunch. By about 1/3 of the way through, it felt like reading a different, and much more childish, novel.
It was really baffling - a switch from a fairly serious, almost grimdark novel to, well... a low-budget knockoff Xanth.
Most recent customer reviews
This is without a doubt one of the most original fantasy stories I've read in a very long time, but Carroll's writing style is childish.Read more