SPFBO Mini Review: Round 4

Read my update here.

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3

Dark Legion – Paul Kleynhans

Buy the book

This is epic fantasy, and quite political. The main characters are almost instantly interesting and likeable. The writing is smooth, detailed, and flowing, and the plot is engrossing. There is a lot here to really enjoy, and I did enjoy it quite a bit. However, occasionally the author got a bit bogged down by detail, which at times made the pacing feel a bit uneven. Sometimes it gets confusing regarding who is doing what, and it might require readers to backtrack just to make sure they are keeping track of who is doing what. Otherwise, this is quite an immersive book, and a promising start to a new series.

Rating: 3/5 stars
Award: Best details

The Impaler Legacy Omnibus – Ioana Visan
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I’m going to admit something before I go any further: It is going to take an act of god to get me to be interested in vampires again. I hate to say that, but it’s true. The Impaler Legacy is an omnibus set in Romania. While the author does try some interesting and rather new things with her vampires, in the end they were still vampires. The writing is solid, though it could have used a bit more polishing up in some areas, and the story will certainly be gripping to those who can’t get enough of the vampire kind. I’m, however, not one of them. Perhaps I was the wrong person to read this book, and I apologize for that.

Rating: Did not finish
Award: Best urban saga

The Fivefold Prophecy – J. Aaron Flynn
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This book equally surprised me and underwhelmed me. First of all, I really enjoyed the author’s style. He can write quite well, and if some parts could have used a bit more editing, he certainly knows how to put words on a page in a rather gripping way. I was underwhelmed because honestly I felt like I’ve read this book before. There’s a prophecy, a man who finds himself in a situation that is over his head and outside of his control, etc. The pacing can be a bit uneven, and the book is fairly short, which caused the ending to feel incredibly rushed. While I enjoyed the writing, I didn’t, unfortunately, quite buy into the plot.

Rating: Did not finish
Award: Best quest

The Plains of Kallanash – Pauline M. Ross
Buy the book

The Plains of Kallanash is certainly unique, and quite bold. The plot is intricate, the world building is superb, and the two mixed together creates a rather engrossing mixture that is hard to pull away from. Ross managed to pack this book full of the kinds of details that I want to read about, however, sometimes it got to be a bit too much. Sometimes there were too many mundane life experiences packed into some scenes. The protagonist, Mia, takes some time to get used to, and she took a little time for me to actually like. However, once I got there, I was quite addicted. This book does have some heavy romantic elements, and if you’re not really into reading about sex, then you might want to look away. That’s not all that’s here, but you deserve a fair warning. The ending left me a little underwhelmed, as the big climax that I wanted to read about never really happened. However, this is one of those rare books that managed to keep my interest despite the fact that it was full of things that I don’t typically like reading about. That says something quite impressive.

Rating: 3/5 stars
Award: Most unique

The Witch’s Price – S.M. White
(I’d offer up the buy the book link, but I couldn’t find it on Amazon, sorry.)

Oh, I struggled with this one. I really, really did. The prose are fantastic. White can really write. In fact, his writing at some points is absolutely stunning. That’s not the problem. I had an issue with the melancholy tone. It never really lifted. I enjoy my books dark, but this got oppressively morose to the point where I almost felt like I needed to pop a Zoloft myself. The main character is unlikeable, and he never changes that. The book gets bogged down by details, way too many details. The secondary characters never quite manage to leave behind their one-dimensionality. The plot is interesting, and the writing is superb, but really, this one was just too depressing and there wasn’t enough here for me to actually root for. It’s unfortunate, because really, White is one amazing writer. The high points were very high, but there just weren’t enough of them.

Rating: 2/5 stars
Award: Best prose


The winner is…

The Plains of Kallanash – Pauline M. Ross

5 Responses

  • Interesting batch of 5 here. I wonder if I’d be a better audience for that vampire novel, since I have a bit of a soft spot for them.

    Then again, I rarely actually find vampires compelling in fiction anymore. Probably burned out on them, since they were everywhere for so long and rarely did they end up tripping the right triggers with me. Still, might be worth a look.

  • Thank you for giving The Impaler Legacy a chance, Sarah, even if vampires are not your thing. Please correct the spelling of my name if it’s not too much trouble. I get that a lot, though this version is new to me. 🙂

    Bibliotropic, if you’re looking for paranormal romance, YA, or erotica, the book is not for you either, I’m afraid. My readers labeled it “a political thriller with vampires”. Just trying to save you some time. 😉

    • PNR and erotica are pretty much the opposite of what I like to read, and much of YA bores me these days, so no, definitely not what I’d be looking for in a vampire novel. 🙂 It being a political thriller with vampires actually makes me more interested!

  • Paul Kleynhans

    Thanks for the review

    The version of Dark Legion you read was certainly bogged down with needless detail. I Sent it to another editor not long after I submitted it, and I believe the current edition works much better. It lost more than 20k words in the editing process.

    Still, I am pleased you enjoyed it 🙂

  • J. Aaron Flynn

    Thanks for taking the time to read The Fivefold Prophecy. The feedback is much appreciated.

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