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Initiate: The Unfinished Song January 31, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 1 star, Fantasy.
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Initiate: The Unfinished Song

by Tara Maya

(also available in paperback)

From Amazon:


Dindi can’t do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi’s clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn’t commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don’t kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father’s wars and his mother’s curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her… assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

I’ll start off by saying that this book simply wasn’t for me. It may be a matter of taste. Having said that, I can’t even begin to tell you what the book is about even though I read about 30% of the book before I had to stop.

Don’t let the description deceive you. Maya writes about more then two characters. The author kept switching from character to character and then she’d introduce new characters on top of that. I was confused and muddled in no time at all. The transition between characters wasn’t smooth either. The rhythm of the book was stuttered and stilted.

None of them were ever given a chance to fully develop. Then, just when I started relating to one particular character she’d switch to another and it would be like she’d forgotten about that particular character completely. It was extremely frustrating. Maybe things changed for the better later in the book, but by that time I had run out of patience at the number of cast members I had to keep up with.

Plus, I was so busy trying to keep up with the cast of characters that I could barely keep track of what the world was really about. To be honest with you, it didn’t really capture my interest once I tried to concentrate on it.

There were tribes. There were dancers. There were faeries. There was a labyrinth in there somewhere. It sounds like good ingredients for a great story, but in reality it came out flat and tasteless.

It was at this point that I gave up and decided to read something else that was more worth my while. I truly wanted to like it, but as Kafka once said, “If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it?”

1 of 5 stars

The Secret World of Dragons January 15, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 1 star, Fantasy.
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I was asked to review The Secret World of Dragons by the author Sandra Harvey via Twitter.  So I downloaded it and started reading it last night. I’m afraid I couldn’t finish it.

First let’s start off with the good. It has a nice pace. Harvey’s style of writing is easy to read. The world of she created is somewhat inventive and interesting. Finally, some of her characters did hold some of my interest for a little while. Mainly the two dragon riders.

Let’s get down to the down and dirty. Why I couldn’t finish the book. The heroine was shallow and insipid. She had a mystical cat who was her guide to another world and on to the start of her adventures. The cat’s name was “Mystic”. That just made me cringe. There were other cliched and hackneyed elements to the story that I found unbearable that I won’t reiterate.

I will say that Harvey has a lot of potential for such a young writer. She’s only 21 years old. I think with a little life experience under her belt she could be a fine writer.

1 of 5 stars.