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Unsouled (Cradle Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 294 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Book 1 of 8 in Cradle|
|Age Level: 13 - 18|
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About the Author
- Publication date : June 13, 2016
- File size : 4307 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 294 pages
- Publisher : Hidden Gnome Publishing (June 13, 2016)
- ASIN : B01H1CYBS6
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,927 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The main thing I dislike about such webnovels is the emotionally stunted protagonists who can barely interact with anyone like a human being. In a book that includes multiple traumatic events, the protagonist struggles to even get close to emotion or empathy. Basically every character is either a very minor role or thrown away until a character introduced at about the 80% mark. She'll obviously be more important, but since the author has shown so little ability to write lifelike characters, I'm not willing to give this series another 300 pages.
Though not as bad as some episodic webnovels (it does have some overarching plot), it still suffers from the problem of just stumbling from one event to another. Each scenario or challenge matters for exactly one miniature arc, then it gets tossed aside without any weight. It's deeply unsatisfying experience from a plot perspective.
In recent years I have been excited and lucky to watch and take part in fantastic new entries into the genre (Mark Lawrence, Patrick Rothfuss, Martin, Anthony Ryan's first book). In between the "big authors" releases I have downloaded, read and discarded probably forty or so indie entries. Some have been good. Some have been bad. Most have been terrible.
What I can't figure out is how some of these books obtain 100+ reviews averaging 4 stars or better, or how they can contain multi-paragraph hand written write-ups praising the "original story" or "unique characters" or "intriguing plot line". I am at a loss because most of these books end up turning me off after about 50 pages because they are some combination of a) illegible writing, and b) a protagonist that is unrealistic/whiny/overpowered/smartwhilestupid.
This book is none of those things. This author's other works do not fall into those categories. Will's stuff is well written, entertaining and contains characters that are funny, relate-able and have depth. I am a fan of pretty much every character in his Traveler's gate and Elder Empire Series. Will does small short-stories filling in background on the characters in between book releases and it is a testament to his writing that fans get excited to hear from minor characters who barely got any lines in the book (incarnation's daughter... more please).
The magic systems are well thought out and unique. The action is fast-paced and well described. The dialogue is sometimes laugh out loud funny and you actually care about what happens to each of the characters.
Honestly my only complaint with Will's stuff is that I want more and wish he could write longer books, but if he did that we wouldn't have so many releases in such a short time span.
Seriously, buy this book, then buy his other books. They are all good and they are stupidly cheap compared to some of the others out there on amazon.
Regarding Unsouled specifically, this is actually my least favorite of his three series, but I still enjoyed it immensely and believe it deserves a 5 star review. I read two other self-published Xianxia novels before this and the state of that genre is currently terrible. One of the novels was unreadable (I won't mention a name, but it involves a certain bird that is a certain color). Even if you don't like Will's other stuff, or just don't like fantasy in general, but somehow you still like Xianxia, you should read this. Its by far the best available.
If you read this and wonder which to go to next, start with Traveler's Gate. It starts a little slow in house of blades but it quickly ramps up into the awesome-sphere. The Crimson Vault and City of Light are even better.
This is a classic hero's journey set in a universe of godly fighters and monstrous remnants, where the cultivation and control of life energy known as madra is the basis of civilization on the world of Cradle. Wei Shi Lindon, a member of the Silverfox Clan, has had the misfortune to be born an Unsouled: someone unfit to harness the power of madra. Lindon, however, is not satisfied with his place on the lowest rung of society, and is determined to do everything he can to prove his worth.
(Back-of-the-book level spoilers follow)
Oh, and did I mention that there's a high-technology, space-time time manipulating civilization of angel-like wardens watching over countless worlds (Cradle among them)? Well, there is, and Lindon's life is changed forever the day one of those wardens is drawn to Cradle in the course of her duties.
Pretty soon Lindon gets the shock of his life, and suddenly his drive for self-improvement has a whole new level of urgency...
Top reviews from other countries
Beyond the setting is a fast-paced adventure. The protagonist starts out with less power than everyone else in his village, and learns that in order to protect his family he must become more powerful than anyone else can imagine. To the author's credit, this is not an immediate process, and low cunning has to substitute for power in most of the battles. No doubt the young man with the least magic will end up with the most magic in the end, that is how these things go, but so long as he has to *think* his way out of each situation there is plenty of fun to be had. Still, something more has to be added in the sequels if this is to be anything more than an oddity, a cartoon translated to the written form.
Lindon is an Unsouled - one of the blips in genetics, when someone doesn't have enough magic in their soul to follow one of the traditional paths. Without this, he has no future, he will never be trained, and he will never be allowed a family. He will exist as a stain to his clan, subservient to everyone, even the weakest child.
All he wants is to prove himself to his clan, and to his family - highly skilled sacred artists that find him a disappointment.
A chance encounter with someone from outside the Valley suddenly shrinks Lindon's world into insignificance, and he is suddenly set on a new path.
I really liked the Asian-inspired setting, and the magical system that's been created.
Everyone has a wooden badge as a child, and they progress to copper when they start their training. These train tirelessly to progress to iron; and only the best get to jade.
You can understand Lindon's frustration, that he has to wear his wooden badge, a visible sign of his shame. That he has to rely on the (reluctant) kindness of others, and can never be independent.
I found this very slow and meandering. For a book with less than 300 pages, this story seemed to go on forever.
There were sections that got very heavy, lecturing on the sacred arts. Perhaps if I read the rest of the series, these will make sense and be more appealing, but as a newcomer, it felt more like unnecessary filler.
There were also sections involving the "higher being" where we are treated to excessive info-dumps to explain the Valley, the geography, history, politics, magic system etc. As these were all very well established in the main narrative, I found these unnecessary and skimmed over them.
I wasn't a massive fan of our main character, Lindon. I found him annoying, with all the emphasis on respect being valued above everything else, Lindon was a bit of a bitter hypocrit in his thoughts and actions.
I had been really looking forward to this series, and have the second book lined up. I will be continuing, but it's not top of my reading list at the moment.
Have thoroughly enjoyed reading all 6 books so far but they're too short and Will Wight doesn't write the new ones quick enough ;-)
But on a more serious note they are a great idea mixing Chinese mystical martial arts with Sci-Fi and Fantasy with a fast paced story-line and entertaining and interesting characters (if they were developed more they'd be fantastic). Bravo Will.
The drawbacks are that this story has the potential to be truly Epic up there with the Greats like Robert Jordan and Tad Williams... but it needs more detail and more character development to be that good... I read Underlord (6th book) in 8 hours. I enjoyed it but was so dissatisfied that it was over so quickly ;)
I have been reading all types of fantasy for the last 30 years from the early days of Tolkien, Moorcock, tad Williams, gemmell, weddings, brooks, feist etc. I have read all current mainstream fantasy including the in vogue grimdark and goto say this guy is with them. He may not have best prose but he can tell a good yarn.