I was gifted a copy of this ebook by the author, David Bell, in return for a review.
When I read the prologue of this (told from the point of view of the dog) I wasn’t expecting this to be 100% serious and adult, but that’s normally fine. I like a good laugh as well as the next and I love dogs so no issues there.
The plot in general is a pretty interesting one and I didn’t have any problem with that side of things. It’s a pretty awesome medievil sort of adventure story that spans a big part of the globe. I also thought, for the most part, that the characterisation was pretty good. A few of the characters were a little cardboard cut out ish, especially the bad guys, but it could have been a lot worse.
I did find myself jarred out of the story a few times though. I don’t know whether it was because the target audience was younger kids or not, but there was the occasional historical oddity, where I was a bit unsure whether something existed back then, especially a reference to a curriculum vitae.
I also found there were a lot of references to bodily fluids of all sorts of kinds (mostly vomit and crap) and while I found this amusing once or twice, felt it was over done how many times someone got covered in one or the other or ended up with a mouthful of someone elses. I don’t know if it is because I wasn’t the target audience, but I’m not a squeamish girl and got up to all sorts of mischief with my brothers so I’m thinking even for most kids it would be a bit much.
Finally, the thing that most ticked me off about this book was the ending. It didn’t end, it just stopped while the main characters were in the middle of a disaster. Then there was an epilogue by the dog where we’re told there’s more to come in the form of another book. This seems to be a trend in indie publishing and I really really really hate it! Seriously, if you’re story isn’t finished don’t publish the fricking book! I don’t get the logic behind putting out a half finished book, especially when being indie means you don’t have to fit within the word count guidelines of a publisher.
I’d rather have an epic to read than get to the end of a story and find I either have to wait or pay more money just to continue. In those circumstances I usually refuse to buy any more books by that author on principle. I don’t mind a bit of a cliffhanger in a series, where the over arching plot isn’t entirely finished with, but the beginning hook of the book should be satisfied, the adventure that begins should at least be at a good stopping point, like a safe place, the destination (even if more adventures happen at the destination). There should be some satisfaction.
As such I find I can’t really recommend this book, which is a shame, because it’s not badly written and I think a lot of younger male readers will enjoy it, but wait until more books are out, or the series is finished before starting.