From my amazon.com review of the kindle edition:
I really enjoy epic fantasy, and find myself often really appreciating the building up of 'ordinary person destined for great things'. However, this took far too long to get out of that portion.
Randall is trained (lectured) extensively by his mentor, so I found myself thinking that nothing really happened in the first third of the book. It seems like a decent magic system - with common enough elements to be familiar, but blended in a fairly unique way. However, I would have preferred a more engaging approach to introducing the reader to it than pages of lecture.
I also felt there were discrepancies presented at times. For example, Randall at times is angry & confident, but bawling at other times. Maybe this was intentional, as he is an early teen, but it wasn't executed very well; it was too jarring and not believable to me. There are also other little things, like his hometown being so small it's basically not even a dot on the map. But, later, Randall remembers homeless children in the streets. Seems disconnected to me.
I quickly realized that whatever Randall was thinking, he was going to be wrong. It was so obvious as to be annoying and I felt he was just a little dim-witted.
I found the dialogue to be unnatural and odd at times (though now I can't really remember any details to give). It just didn't flow well. I'm not sure if that is related to the narrator (since I actually ended up listening to this from audible.com after I picked up the kindle edition).
The second book in the series pretty steep for me: $4 for less than 200 pages. In addition, it was released 14 months after I picked up this book (though the publication date of this title is now the same as the next, somehow). That's a little slow for me, considering how short the books are (I expect that much delay with 800+ page sequels).
In all, it has potential, but I'll be pursuing other reading entertainment.
More action! The setting for this book is mostly the University of the Magician's Guild. The small area becomes tedious as the character continues to be tormented, struggle with classes, etc. It doesn't feel as if anything really is tense or exciting.
I had hoped that other characters would expand the world-building, and it does happen somewhat. However, it's not enough to make up for the boredom of the main story line.
I found myself frequently wondering how much farther I had until the book was completed, rather than just finding myself immersed in the world and enjoying the story.
I often felt the characters' thoughts were used to lecture at the reader & express the author's view on topics.
I gave up. I really wanted to finish the book so that I'd feel I gave a totally complete review. This is an honest review, nonetheless. I only made it about 90% through, then finally realized the time just wasn't worth my lack of enjoyment.
The slow pace - it takes a long time for the main character to move on from her initial setting.
Possibly, but would definitely read reviews (here & Amazon) to determine if it's worth another try.
As before, the plot moves very slowly & it seems chapters are repetitive action. I have felt more engaged with the "slum/ underground" settings in other series (i.e. Fiest). I listened through, hoping the rest of the series would have more action & expand the world the story is set in.
It's quite short, which was actually a draw to the book. However, it seems like it's really only a good outline or start to a story. More details are needed - it's as if the author is giving a re-cap summary to the real story.
Characters need to seem more life-like with greater depth. I'm interested to see what happens next, but not emotionally invested in any characters. Much of the dialog seems aimed at just explaining things to the reader (listener), but does not seem realistic.
I'm listening on with the trilogy hoping that this title is just a first effort and the writing and story improves.
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