by Daniel Arenson
Started: Oct. 24
Finished: Oct. 28
Notes: The year is winding down and I've not read nearly as much fantasy as I'd wanted. However, there's still a little time to correct that to some extent, so here goes. Arenson has been pretty popular on the Amazon fantasy rankings the last year or two, so I thought I'd give his writing a go.
Mini review: In a world where shapeshifters can go from being human to being dragons, an evil rises and nearly stomps them out. Now years later, a few survivors in hiding come forth to set things right. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot good to say here, but I'll try not to belabor the point. The prose was fine, nothing outstanding but it got the job done. Still, I never felt any excitement reading this, though I wasn't completely bored and there were a few moments of decent tension. The characters were mostly one dimensional, in my opinion. After an initial background story of horrors, nothing too traumatic happens to any of the characters for the rest of the book, at least not that lead to any real sense of loss. Then the final battle ... here I had some major problems, too many really to go into. However, I will say this: When you have beaten your enemy and have him under your boot, if he squeaks up at you, "Hey, let me up so we can fight like men," then you kill the bastard. I don't care if he's family or your best pal or whatever, especially after he's murdered thousands and raped and done all kinds of other atrocities, you put the sucker down. This, or something similar, happens more than once here. And honestly, in the end, when it's all over, I didn't feel like much had changed, that the characters had grown nor that their situation had changed much, other than some foreshadowing of a new threat. Arenson seems to sell well and have fans (hell, far more than me, I'm sure), and I don't want to judge a fellow writer or his career based upon my reading of one book, so more power to him. This wasn't for me, though, and I'm not likely to return. It happens. We each have different tastes.