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Showing 1-10 of 186 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 209 reviews
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 23, 2012
I think what makes this book stand out in the crowd of fantasy novels is the brilliant description the author uses to describe her lands, the emotions of the characters and the action in the book. Although there are a few typos here and there, the story is well written and has an even pace that made it highly readable. It id not take me very long to finish this book all though it is full length. I didn't want to put it down as I was having too much fun staying in the scenes the author created.

The other thing I liked about this book is that this author is very adept at creating believable conflict. The characters were fully realized and I felt like I actually cared what happened to them, rather than reading and then forgetting. Not often do I check to see which location I am at in the book I am reading and feel sad when I realize I am nearing the end. I did with this one. I really like this book and will watch for more titles from this author. Great start to what will no doubt be a fabulous series.
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on July 10, 2010
On its own, Shatter is a novel that introduces us to the personalities and struggles of some memorable characters. Faela is a character on a journey propelled by deep motivations that aren't immediately apparent. As you unravel the mystery surrounding her and discover what drives her you are treated to her practical yet charming personality. The other characters in this book are just as interesting, their struggles are just as compelling, you'll find yourself cheering for some and sneering at others.

The world, magic system and history behind this book are specific and well made. Unlike many fantasy and science fiction novels these days, you don't get the feeling that the whole universe is built to the direct benefit of the characters. Instead, Elizabeth Mock has built a setting that is anything but convenient or simple, adding depth and realism to their struggles.

This book does stand on its own, but I promise you'll be looking forward to the second part of the trilogy by the time you finish it.
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on October 8, 2010
This story follows people who start out on their own and as things progress they come together. I laughed, cried, and grieved in this story with these amazingly well written and developed characters. I was sooo sad at the loss of two of them, very worried and stressed for one who is now alone, and am anxiously awaiting the next in this trilogy! The story has you flowing through their world with ease and comfort. I was truly impressed by not only the plot but the huge hanger at the end. Like a few characters I will be biting my nails waiting. It's totally worth reading if you love great stories with even better written characters that you love instantly, especially Jair and Vaughn. But be warned, although there isn't a huge battle or action scenes, there is plenty that keeps your heart racing and fingers turning the page!!!
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on April 21, 2013
I find it amusing to read some of the reviews. Seems like everyone is a critic... even though it is extremely unlikely that those "critics" could produce something even half as well written. Are the books perfect? No, they aren't! But they hardly deserve the comments that some have made. But for those that look more for great characters, and compelling storyline... these books are excellent! Very fun to read... and I look forward to the third and fourth books. The characters are well fleshed out... and make sense. The story is coherent, and easy to follow. The descriptions make you feel like you are there... and the conflicts and drama will keep you reading. For a new author, these are some of the best books I have read in a long time.
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on May 25, 2010
This review may or may not contain spoilers.

This book was amazing. I fell in love with the new variety of magic almost as soon as I realized what it was.

The characters are amusing and compelling, and if it weren't for obligations, I would have finished this book the first evening I got it, just so I could see and learn more of the characters. Even now, having finished the book, I'm thirsting for its sequel so I can learn more.

The plot is every bit as compelling as the characters. It keeps you guessing, and it left me wanting to re-read various passages of the story, simply because of how subtly intertwined they all are.

The writing of "Shatter" is done in a manner that's accessible to all. You don't need a dictionary by your side to read this book, but Miss Mock doesn't "dumb down" for her audience either.

Even before I finished reading this book, I was recommending it to my friends.

As well written as it is, I am now in a lull until Miss Mock's second book of "The Children Man" series comes out.
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on October 7, 2010
I'm a fantasy lover, and I downloaded this book because it was tagged fantasy, and it was a freebie. When I do that, I don't have many expectations, as sometimes I couln't ever finish some books.
This time, however, I've been lucky and I find a little gem. "Fantasy" means that the author avoids the limits and boundaries of the real world, having the more difficult task to build an environment that actually makes sense, plus a good story and characters.
When it happens, I usually can't put down the book, and that's what happened with "Shatter". It's a very good first book, my only disappointment is that the second one isn't available yet. I'll be looking forward to it.
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on September 2, 2011
I absolutely love this book. All the characters are well thought out, witty, and have many secrets that you discover as you get further into the plot. My personal favorite would have to be Jair, who made me laugh more than once.

The plot was very complex -I could never guess what would happen next- and went along smoothly, although the ending did seem a little abrupt. I'm hoping that there will be a second book, if there isn't I'll be more than a little disappointed.

The author describes each town, forest, and everything else the characters travel into with amazing detail. The characters themselves are also described well, so well in fact that I had no trouble at all seeing them in my imagination.

I so wanted to give this book a full 5 stars, however, because of the MANY punctuation errors throughout the entire book I had to go down to 4. Whoever edited this marvelous book had no idea where commas belong. As a result many sentences were a bit difficult to read, and I was constantly having to go back and re-read them. Quite annoying.

All in all a fantastic book meant for those who love adventure, mysterious characters, and don't mind punctuation errors. As it is free, don't be hesitant to try it :)
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on November 7, 2011
Shatter, a self-published young adult fantasy novel, starts off slow and never really gets going. The characters, plot, and world have plenty of potential, but a good restructuring and major editing overhaul would have done this book wonders.

Faela Durante is on the run from her husband, the father of her infant son, Sammi. She's racked with guilt - guilt for events that won't be revealed to the reader until the middle and end of the book. She uses her red magic to defend herself, and to heal herself as well. As she runs from her past, however, she collects a rag-tag band of other magic users. There's Jair, the extremely powerful and untraind green magic user. He's gangly and charming, always good for a laugh. But he's running from his past as well. Then there's Kade, the powerful and deadly orange and purple Daniyelan. His sword burns with orange and black flame when he needs to defend himself or his comrades, and he has the unique ability to "pop" backwards through time and space. He's running as well, having been accused of murdering his young wife, and of being a traitor to his order.

But when the trio bumps into Mireya, an oracle of the blue Nikelan order, and her grier (protector) Dathien, the group realizes that their joining of forces wasn't random. They are all part of a prophecy:

Seven shall come to undo what was done.
From shadow revealed, three destinies sealed.
Daughter of night shall succumb to dark sight.
He who walks time out of fire must climb.
Son of the earth shall steal from its birth.
Speaker of truth, guide you must be, trust in that which only you see.
Keeper of truth, watch and protect, never dismiss all you suspect.
Twin branches extend, a choice here resolved,
Either shall end betrayed or absolved.
From death shall be life; a world formed anew.

The rest of the members of the prophecy slowly join the story. It's hard to keep track of so many characters and their backstories. They all have intricate relationships, some stretching back decades. And when the side characters start to pop up, some of which are family members or former friends and mentors to multiple people within it, it gets even worse.
It's the same with the setting. All the magic users specialzie in different colors (Red is healing, Orange is Justice, Yellow is art, Green is growing, Blue is prophecy, and Purple is popping). And all magic users train at different houses around the contintent. All of which have different Scions, or heads of the magical houses. You have to keep all of these straight, because the Scions become very important towards the end of the book.

And the dialog...towards the end it feels like the author just ripped off every corny relationship conversation ever. It's so cheesy and fake sounding that I almost put the book down. But I only had 5o pages or so left, so I toiled onward. For example, in this passage, Faela explains to Kade her failure at friendship: "I don't have many myself. Pretty much just Ianos, Caleb, and Talise. And Caleb and Talise are family. You've got me beat there. You sure you want a friend like me, Kade?"

I'm not saying that Shatter by Elizabeth C. Mock is a bad book. As far as indie fantasy books go, it's around the middle of the pack for me (better than Bone Dressing but not nearly as good as the Trylle trilogy). You just need a spreadsheet to keep track of the cast of characters, their magic specialities, their relationships, and their origins. Keeping track of everything made reading this book tedious.
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on December 17, 2010
I must say, I have never felt compelled to write a review before... but here I am...

Elizabeth Mock's novel "Shatter" was a pleasant suprise, and well worth taking the time to read. Like a few others who have written reviews, I downloaded the kindle version because it was free - yes, and only because it was free. Actually, I was in the process of downloading part three of another series by a different author - and I had been happy to pay the $15+ for each of those novels - when I noticed "Shatter" and thought "what the heck - it's free." Now, let me add that I finished "Shatter" about an hour ago, and was immediately compelled to log in to my Amazon account to purchase volume two. Sadly, I discover that volume two is not finished... this is Elizabeth Mock's first novel.

Searching for any indication of a release date for the second volume, I have now read Ms Mock's own blog (and that was enlightening). She explains that it took her six years to write this book, with what appears to be almost a gap of five years between the inception (and first chapters) and the completion. So in some way this explains the difficulty with which I struggled to keep up in the first few chapters. She explains that she re-wrote sections of the first third of the book, deleting large sections, so perhaps that explains why some of the characters felt a little incomplete. She also explains that launching this book herself, offering free e-book versions, has given her a 50,000 plus audience. Smart move, I would say. However, the lack of professional editing did make reading hard at times (and is why I give the book 4 stars not 5). Oh well... 50,000+ readers gives Ms Mock a good potential audience for future work, and I hope, true to her word, that she reads the feedback she receives, she will listen to the readers and ensure editing gets a bit more priority in the future.

Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed "Shatter". The magic and the fantasy world were delightfully expressed. I could actually visualise the magic as the colours swirled, feel the pain, taste the food, and smell the soil. For me, an authors ability to touch my emotions and engage all my senses in such a manner is an indication of their skill. I laughed with, and I cried for, the characters as Ms Mock developed their personalities, and as each faced their darkest selves (always an intriguing plot for me). There is huge potential to develop these personalities further, and I hope Ms Mock does that across the three volumes. Some characters (e.g., Eve) were not fully explored, and I was left wanting. However, the distinct absence of Eve and her lover at the end of this first book lead me to believe that they will play a big part in the second - here's hoping...

The setting felt reminiscent of familiar lands such as Narnia (C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia) and Middle Earth (Tolkien's' The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings). The system of magic was intriguing, and the underlying notion of shattering of light, I felt, was very clever - unique. It was not your typical good (light) versus evil (darkness). I would very much hope that in the sequel, Ms Mock will elaborate on both the history of the land, it's people, the wars, the development of the Orders, and the magic. A glossary, an historical timeline, and a map would also be helpful to any reader attempting to pick up the story starting at book two.

Because "Shatter" was difficult to digest in the first few chapters, I almost put it down. I am glad I didn't. After about the 15th chapter, I couldn't. I was compelled to find out more. I look forward to the sequel. WELL WORTH THE READ.
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on October 20, 2010
I just finished Shatter and I really look forward to seeing the story continue. This was a tremendous novel. Scratch that; it is a tremendous novel!

I downloaded Shatter because it was free. Plus, my mother's maiden name was Mock and I wondered if we might be related. I was born in Cincinnati, too... None of that stuff mattered, before long. I was caught up in the events, the characters, the world you created. I don't know when I've been so thoroughly involved in a book--and I not only read constantly but publish books under the name CWG Press. I wish I'd had the chance to publish this one.

Like all good fantasies, this book has clear villains and heroes, good versus evil, and world-changing events. Naturally the characters we follow are involved in the most significant actions and reactions. The good people are mostly flawed, and the bad ones often have redeeming qualities, and we don't know for sure on which side some of our favorite characters will end. We like them anyway, though. We just wish they would make the right decisions. Why do they keep missing what is so obvious to us?

The novel has depth and breadth too, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
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