This is a story of gods and mortals, of life and death, of a world where fate has no master.
This is The Book of Lokk.
The city of Kartos is a dark, cruel place, and its winding streets lie within the Black Temple's great shadow. The Devout, the priests of the temple, rarely leave its towering walls, but when they do it is only to collect the dead or to lead the city's condemned back to the dungeons.
And those who enter do not return.
It is common knowledge among the Kartosi that the temple is to be avoided at all costs, and even the corrupt upper caste of the city bows to its will. Lokk, a young thief oblivious to the machinations of the temple and its puppets, is about to enter a world where evil knows no bounds.
©2014 Sommer Nectarhoff (P)2015 Sommer Nectarhoff
First I received a copy of the audio book for free when the author did a promotion on Reddit. I had previously purchased this book to read but had not made it through my extensive back log yet. (Audible is the main way I’m keeping my reading going this year.)
The story was enjoyable and moved along quickly. There were times when I found myself frustrated that I had to stop listening. I started using even short car trips to hear the story.
The book was a little shorter than I usually consider for an Audible purchase at 5 hours 10 minutes. There was one line read twice in chapter four that seemed like an editing error. I checked it a couple of times to be sure. I didn’t find any other errors, and I liked the job James Scofield MacKenzie did with the narration.
The three boys seem to have a deep friendship but I would have liked to see some more evidence as to how or why they were friends. There was lots of loyalty but no reason for these three boys to be so close.
The protagonist really did not feel solid. Even with a story told from Lokk’s limited prospective, we should have been able to get a feel for them. Some scenes seemed to have a sense of a cheesy horror film and did not further the story. There is a ceremony near the end of the book about a book that I’m not really sure why it was done or what the profit was.
There were no female characters at all.
The ethical dilemma that Lokk faces in the first half of the book is my favorite plot point of the book. Things are bad, but mostly for others, for me everything seems to be ok. There is food in my stomach, a safe place to sleep, just keep my mouth shut and go with the flow.
I like stories involving gods of the underworld and I don’t mind YA. So was pleasantly surprised to find that even though the Lokk and his friends are teenagers this book fits more into Grim Dark than YA. I am pretty hard on books when I rate them but would give this one a 3.4 out of 5 if I could. This series should be fun to read and I added the it to the ever growing ‘To Read List’.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though I thought the beginning was a little slow. I am looking forward to reading more from this author, especially with that epilogue.
This series reminded me a lot of the Greek mythology stories I heard when I was younger, especially because of the pantheon of gods. I'm really excited to see where this goes (I expect we will see a lot more of them) and I wonder if the series is going to become more "traditional" in that sense.
I’ve actually already read the print version, but I got a free code from the author to check out the audiobook. I really enjoyed it, and listening to the story made me feel as if I were going through it with completely new “ears”. The production values seemed really high to me—I dug all the music and the credits. In general I’m a huge fan, and I’m looking forward to the next audiobooks coming out!
I would have to say it doesn't rank in the upper echelon of my personal favorite fantasy books, however, this story does add new elements I've yet to run into with all of my favorites. I would recommend it and I'm hopeful that this book will continue on with a few more in a series.
The most memorable moments of the book to me was the last fight scene where Lokk took on a few of the gods of the story. As with any final fight there didn't seem like a lot the hero could do to win, but the author pulled some craziness out and wrote a fantastic ending fight scene.
Ending fight scene was the best part to me. Looked dismal, but ended cataclysmicly awesome.
Not the hero you were expecting
The book started so slow and almost mundane I had lost hope that it would gain any momentum. But with any good fantasy the lull came to full speed and the story took off very well.
Note: I was sent a code for the audiobook by the author so that I may give an honest review.
The Book of Lokk: Death's Keep started with a brisk pace and never slowed down. I tend to read books with a lot slower progression, and this was a pleasant change for me. Halfway through, I knew I'd probably like to listen to the next installment--by the end, I knew for sure.
Sommer Nectarhoff did a great job at making sure every chapter keeps the story progressing. His narrator, James Scofield MacKenzie, speaks clearly and at a fairly quick but comfortable speed that I felt benefitted the book greatly.
The voices were mostly distinct, and the banter between the protagonists was frequently amusing. This contrasts heavily with the internal conflict experienced by Lokk and the frequent, gruesome violence, all of which were narrated with an appropriate tone of voice.
I hadn't been expecting so much violence (which was sometimes rather brutal), especially given the tone of the earliest chapters, but I enjoyed the action sequences. Once the book was going full force, I thought it'd make for a fun video game, with a bit of swordplay and lots of sneaking around for stealth kills.
There were some interesting twists throughout the book, and a very good amount of content was packed into these five hours. While fun and fantastic, the story isn't particularly complicated as of the end of this book--but it does seem to be looking toward an increasing depth, especially given the contents of the intriguing epilogue. For the rest of the series, I hope to see more development for characters other than Lokk, and an interesting female character would be cool.
The Book of Lokk: Death's Keep was a delight--twisted at times, darkly humorous, and with a main protagonist who's not averse to making rash decisions in the heat of the moment, which absolutely kept things entertaining.
Disclosure: I was provided a code for review purposed by the author.
Book of Lokk: Death's Keep was an enjoyable experience, if a bit rushed.
The narration and audio production was competent, clear and enjoyable. No complaints but nothing really to write home about either. The narrator had a very smooth voice that suited the story well and he did a good job of separating between the different characters, making dialogue easy to follow.
On the actual story side the book flowed well and held my interest throughout. The plot was not overtly complex and most importantly served the book.
Dark for sure, but not overtly reveling, the book feels in a lot of ways inspired by the Gentleman Bastards series, only more epic in it's events, if smaller in it's scope.
I did feel that for an introductory novel into a new fantasy world the it did not make enough of an effort to actually introduce the reader to this new world. Had I not read the blurb on Audible, I would have had a very hard time settling into it as characters of varying importance appeared out of nowhere into the story with very little context. That said the cast of characters was limited enough that it did not become an issue. That said it is hard to feel much dread towards the adversary in the book, as his characterization is close to non-existant.
The ending also came abruptly. Almost as if the author had decided that he had reached a set number of words and didn't take enough care to let the reader settle following the books climax. It did leave me wanting more and if the quality of the series remains then I'll definitely want to see where Nectarhoff takes his story next.
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