A Reluctant Warrior
Giele has spent 20 years fighting wars for the King of Aelfland, but when he makes the mistake of falling in love with the Princess of the Realm, he is stripped of his rank, his citizenship, and his name. His face is marked with the slivered moon, forever identifying him as an outcast. No longer will he find a home among his own people.
He travels halfway across the world to seek a fresh start among the colonists of the continent of Verigo, but the troubles of a marked man seem to follow him wherever he goes. It only takes one mistake, crossing the path of a local gangster, and once more Giele finds himself forced to take on the role of warrior, first to defend those who cannot defend themselves, and then to avenge those he cannot protect.
Pariah's Moon is a harrowing tale of redemption and revenge, bows and bullets, magic and massacre.
Really unique fantasy story. This isn't the typical book I would listen to but wanted to give it a try and I'm glad I did.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. The fact that I was gifted this book had no influence over my opinion of it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Finally, an elf/dwarf/human story that’s not saturated with magical events. Just a warrior with quick thinking, and skills!
Recommend only 17+ readers.
I like the way the events are relatable to reality!
I was given this audiobook for free and and I give my free opinion of the quality thereof.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I love Weird West. I really wanted to like this book. I honestly did. Elves in the old west? Sign me up! A whole fantasy world cast in a western? Heck yeah!
I couldn't finish it. I'm twenty or thirty minutes from the end, and I while I had to set aside audiobooks for a little while as I had no time, I kept finding reasons when I HAD time to NOT listen. I kept reasoning, "Self, you are so close to the end. Just finish it so you can review!" Yet I did not.
Overall, the story is pretty simple, and is reminiscent of Westerns (not a bad thing) and fantasy, which actually made me realize how many of those tropes cross over. Our hero is an Unfortunately Named Elf (I say Unfortunately Named because though his name is Giele, I kept hearing Gigli... that movie with Ben Affleck in it) named Giele, who is exiled from the elven homelands for sleeping with the princess. Ok... pretty fantasy there, which isn't in itself bad, but that first chapter is immediately followed by a flashback chapter where he meets the princess! Why in the hell do we care NOW? We know he's going to get kicked out for putting the boots to her, so that destroyed any sense of caring about the relationship or the characters involved because we already knew what happened!
Ok, so he gets kicked out and he goes "west" (I think) in a ship, to a more frontier place. Alright, so this is where the story begins... except we've seen it all a thousand times before. The frontier bully, the prostitute with a heart of gold, the fierce and independent lady store owner, the boss who gives the exile a chance, the noble savage, etc etc etc. It was so... SO trope laden it made for a boring listen, and I think that's why I couldn't finish it: I already knew the ending.
Even so, I think it could have worked except that the two genres (western and fantasy) were not mixed well together. They CAN be, but in this instance they weren't. One of the things about westerns is the ever expanding frontier, the unknown, but BEHIND that was the PUSH for expansion, the certainty of white "civilized" superiority, the crowding out of the indigenous cultures as we stole their land, the push and drive for finding new resources, and of course the Homestead Act, for example. Why were the elves crowding into the horks territory? It's never explained. They could have been following ley lines, or looking for crystals to power magic trains, or they could have been trying to save the savages, or any number of things. Other than the preacher's impetus to try to convert people (which wasn't really an impetus but rather a soft push), there was no real motivation for the rapid expansion of elven lands. Which, if they are traditional fantasy elves, have they lived for hundreds of years? Is that why they still use bows when guns are available? And yes, they still use bows when guns are available. Heavy sigh.
That's what I mean by the genres don't mesh well here. We're not given reasons for the world existing how it is, which makes it hard to care about the characters journeying in it. I did like the horks and their spiral philosophy, and I thought that was worked out very well. My favorite part was when Giele was in the hork village, which is why this isn't one star, but two. I would give a listen for that.
The narrator... was kinda... stuffy. I'm not sure if that's the right word or not, but his voice didn't suit the book very well. He did his best I'm quite sure, but everything sounded really ... the same. Not monotonous, but many of the voices were the same, and much of the inflections and stresses during the narration wasn't enough. There wasn't enough passion or drive in the voices.
Overall, if you're interested in fantasy, I think it may be more up your alley than western lovers. I wouldn't recommend it, but the entire hork culture was interesting enough that I am glad I listened to it for that.
The author wanted different and this is....different. I think most of the characters are lacking depth, substance, or something like that. Narration is strange at times, I really don't want to bang on him too much as I haven't heard anything by him before, but it was a difficult listen. It doesn't matter what genre or where you're trying to go with a story, the characters (especially the main character), have to be likable or at least entertaining.
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”
I have never found the elves of Tolkien's work easy to approach or understand. I have always regarded them as long-lived, high-falutin humans, generally more uptight about everything than regular humans. This is what I thought when I first read the blurb of Pariah's Moon. I hoped this book would fill out an elven character a little more. It had my attention!
Thank you to the author, who gave me a copy of this audiobook in exchange for a review.
Ian Thomas Healy has gone satisfyingly further to fill out the elven world and culture. The landscapes of Aelfland and Verigo are richly described. I found the writing style evocative of imagery and nuances, for example, the way body language was described in character interactions. Healy wields skillful control of prose and delivery.
The book left me wanting characters with greater depth and interest, with a broader spectrum or more complexity in their motivation. No characters really change in a way that will surprise the reader here. As their adventures take them down the road, the male characters will all end up forging earnest bonds of friendship that can be best described as bromance. I have never found these kind of relationships very believable or interesting.
The performance by Gary Roelofs did little to help with characterisation. His delivery is serene, ponderous and undifferentiating except in the case of the Horks.
Pariah's Moon was an enjoyable read. It took me on a rollicking ride. Stylistically, the writing was of a higher quality than the storytelling. Both were let down by the narration. I would recommend this book for a younger reader, perhaps in the upper end of the young adult category.
Firstly I want to thank the author for the free review copy of this audio book. Most fantasy books are set in either a medieval or dark modern setting. It was refreshing to find a western themed fantasy story. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. While magic is defiantly present in the world, this book is told from the perspective of a non magic user. The one down side is that I really didn't like the narrator. It felt bland and monotone through much of the book.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
The start of the book is sooo dramatic and totally in the "get outta here" realm that you know that you just have to suspend disbelief and try to enjoy the story. The silly reason the hero is expelled and events surrounding that incident are too prudish and feel like a plot device. So, I'm looking past that for the rest of the story.
When our hero finds the "purpose of life" on the other side of the world, to stand up for people who can't do so for themselves, that's where the main story of the book starts. And so starts the comradery / bromance between the characters. Speaking of characters, most of them are pretty one-dimensional. Almost everyone have a single character trait and don't deviate from it. I wish the characters had more flairs to them. The progression of the story could be guessed early on and you know where this is going. Still, it wasn't boring, even though predictable.
The narration was a let down. The voice was monotonous throughout the book, with no distinctions between different characters.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful