Our world is divided into nine territories. Only a descendant of a house bloodline can rule. The ruthless leader of Territory Six has done the impossible. Three of the nine territories have fallen under the weight of his power. If the ruling houses can't set aside their differences and join as one, our world will perish.
I look to the child whose death is inevitable and then to my target, The Wolf. My decision seems simple enough, sacrifice one to save millions. This is what I'm here for. My whole life's led up to this one moment.
Heart pounding, my finger closes on the trigger. My body freezes under the weight of my decision. I can't fire. I wait for the numbness to wash over me and take me to that place where hard decisions are made simple. It doesn't. I can't act.
Charly calls my name. I turn to him and his throat's slit and his face is badly beaten. Bloods gushes from several wounds. One eye is swollen shut and the other is too horrible to describe. I have to end this. My targets in site making his way up the stairs. I pull back on the trigger and wait for the nightmare to come to an end. Again Charly cries out to me but it's not my name he's saying. I turn to him as the bullet misses The Wolf and hits the girl.
No! I scream uncontrollably.
She falls down in a heap. The Wolf steps over her not wanting to bloody his shoes. He disappears into the safety of the compound and out of my grasp. Blood runs down the steps and the world turns dark again.
Everything fades to ash, nothing is left. Eternity in the wastelands is the price I pay for my failures. I try to find strength to leave this place, but I've been stripped there's no hope left. I close my eyes and let the darkness consume me.
©2012 Lynndsie T Clausen (P)2015 Lynndsie T Clausen
This was really an outline of a book, maybe two books. It needed color, description, not once was someone's face actually described. I really went into this trying to like it. It was written for someone that already knew what everything looks like in their imagination, namely the writer's.
The story lacks the detail needed to paint you a picture of the surroundings. I spent the entire book lost to the backdrop; was it in a desert, a post-apocalyptic city, a traditional Japanese countryside? I don't know. There's advanced technology, but there's magic of sorts, ghost-like characters, prophecy, none of which seems to fit or are well explained to why they exist. There were times I didn't know if I was inside a mountain cave or outside in a garden. The details were vague and it was like visiting a museum at night with only a narrow beam flashlight. I could see what I was looking at but everything around it faded to black. The characters were equally confusing, their place in the story was superficial and I had no emotional connection to them, not even to the main character who just seemed to be a shell with no real depth. When the main character's friend dies, it's more of an emotionless footnote. Things were described in one-word adjectives, not explained in any detail that provided color or depth. The book itself was written for someone already familiar with the landscape.
Technically, there were some problems but overall I was able to follow along. There were several times when lines were re-read, either an error in narration or a duplication made in editing. Additionally, there were words mispronounced which should have been caught in editing. The narrator has a very unique accent, a dash of Miami beach with Arizona soft consonants, definitely a Spanish speaker. These are not negatives at all. My only suggestion would be in pronunciation, hard to explain but I guess closest to sounding out the 't' in mountains. It was a little distracting but he did a good job in narration overall. Sometimes while listening, I thought that the narrator was trying to hide or suppress his accent to make his voice more neutral.
While not really having a place in the book, the story about the main character's family situation that appeared as a flashback in the first half of the book was probably the best part of the book. Write a book about that. Paint me a picture of emotions about that and I will read it!
For the first 1/3rd or so of this book I was probably aiming for it to be a 2/5 but it grew and overall it grew on me. In the end it is not a great book but it has the makngs of it. If/when a sequel comes I would be interested in it because it felt like it was starting to hit its stride towards the end.
The setting of the book is a world that is hard to pin down. Its not typical fantasy, of dragons and knights, but there are elements of the genre in there. It feels in some way post-apocalyptic, in that there is a medieval feel to it but there are vehicles and electricity and 'modern' elements. But it doesn't really present itself as being after an apocalyptic event. We find out late in the book something fairly major happened 1000's of year ago but it's not something I would consider an apocalypse. Its an interesting and intriguing mix.
There are a few things with the world that don't make sense if this is a realy place, rather than "they just seem cool to put in the story" elements.The world is divided into nine territories. Okay, that can make sense. But they dont have names only numbers. Why? I'm not totally sure. The only other book I can think of with something like htis is Hunger Games, but that had a central government that imposed the numbers on them. There is no central government here. You would think that they would develop names over time rather than just numbers (who decided who gets to be #1 anyway?). The fact they are numbers didnt make sense to me. Also the leader of #6 is named The Wolf. I don't recall another name being given. Apparently Wolf is a clan/family name but even if it is, you would think there would be another name for him. Maybe his name is George Wolf. Who knows? Apparently no one in the book does.
We, as readers, a dropped into the story somewhat in the middle. Our hero, Will, is on a journey to #6 to kill The Wolf to protect the 9 regions. The Wolf is trying to take over all 9 and is subjugating the population. While this does drive the story in some ways its a red herring as there are much greater mysteries going on. These mysteries and the revelations from them towards the end of the book are what makes me say there is potential here. I don't want to say too much due to spoilers but I like where the book ended and the direction it provides for future books.
The narration, by Jean Maldonado, is good. Not outstanding but definitely listenable and engaging. He differentiates between the characters and the narration, so that they dont get tangled. It sounds a simple thing, but I'm amazed at how often I've listened to books that don't. I would be happy to listen to other work he does.
There is another review that says there is going to be a second book. I hope so because there is a lot left unfinished. The most interesting part if the book about the main characters family was left unfinished.
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