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.
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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