Wednesday, December 01, 2010

No. 29 - The Weight of Blood

The Weight of Blood (The Half-Orcs, Book 1)by David Dalglish

Started: December 1
Finished: December 4

Notes: I've actually had this e-book for some little while now, but I've been holding off reading it because I expected to get a Kindle comes this Christmas. Well, Christmas came a little early this year, so I decided it was time to get reading. So, yeah, this is my first e-book read on my new Kindle. I've heard great things about this author and his Half-Orc series, of which this e-book is the first book, and I even interviewed him a while back. I love trying out new writers, and giving indie authors a shot. Here goes.

Mini review: A nice read. Well written with very, very few copy editing errors, which is uncommon for many indie books. The characters I loved, and found them quite interesting. If I have any complaints about this novel, there are two.

First, this has been called a dark fantasy by various reviewers, even the author. I have to disagree, but that's just my opinion. There are many awful things that happen in this novel, a good number of them committed by the protagonists, but they were not dwelt upon for any length. To me, "dark" literature is fiction that explores the emotional, even possibly spiritual depths, of human depravity, possibly even evil. I didn't feel that here. Others might. Again, just my opinion.

My second possible complaint about this novel would be the characters' motivations; frankly, I didn't feel they were explored nearly enough. As an example, if a character is willing to slaughter innocents, unless that character happens to be a true unfeeling psychopath, there needs to be very strong reasons why such a character would be willing to do such. I didn't think that was here. In other words, I would have liked to have seen much more of the two main characters' past. As is, to me it sort of felt like, "boo hoo, we were picked on as little kids, so now we're going to kill everyone ... but we still love each other." That rang false to me.

All that being said, I definitely enjoyed this fantasy novel and will be reading more from this author. And despite my faults with what I felt was lack of motivation for the characters, I still liked the characters quite a bit and would enjoy reading more about them.


David Dalglish said...

Hey Ty! Just now spotted this review (thanks google alerts!). I'm beyond flattered that I was your first Kindle read. I'm glad I kept you entertained.

As for the dark fantasy...I never really meant to write a dark fantasy, and I'd still debate if I really did. However, many, many readers were surprised, shocked, or angry by some of the events in the book.

After that, I started referring to it as Dark Fantasy. Figure that might at least give a bit of a warning that some rather unpleasant stuff was coming.

Anyhoo, enough yammering. Thanks for the review, the privilege of breaking in your Kindle, and that interview not too long ago :-)


Ty Johnston said...

Hey David!

Hope I didn't sound too negative in my mini review, because I didn't meant to. But, ya know how it is, when you're critiquing ... well, you're critiquing.

A love your half-orc brothers and look forward to reading more about them in the future.

And I know what you mean about the dark fantasy. The same thing has happened to me. I've had several readers tell me some of my work is dark fantasy, and it never seemed that way to me while writing it.