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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Deception of the Damned - Make Sure You Check the Fine Print! 4.5/5!

Today, I am reviewing the Dark Fantasy novel Deception of the Damned by P.C. Darkcliff. A thrilling tale with twists, turns, and negotiations with (basically) the Devil himself, I had a great time in this book!

I give this novel a 4.5/5. Here is my breakdown.

Characters: 4/5. Darkcliff crafts very interesting main and side characters, from the despairing Hrot, a mind too advanced for his time, to the cryptic and magical Anath and the almost-too-compassionate Jasmin. I enjoyed their interactions and watching how they dealt with the tribulations they faced. 

Plot/Storyline: 4/5. It kept me reading and turning the page! The overarching story was consistent and made sense, and I couldn’t identify any major holes or hiccups in verisimilitude. My only concern was the end - as the ending approached, I felt Darkcliff may have rushed things just a bit rather than letting the consequences and impending doom fully descend on the reader. And what happened to Hrot...well, let’s just say I might have preferred a slightly different path.

Flow: 5/5. Easy to read, with period-appropriate vocabulary and a fun style. Darkcliff is obviously a master storyteller, knowing how to keep the reader riveted the whole time.

Spelling/Grammar: 5/5. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar issues, which is a rarity for published novels! Either they weren’t there, or the story was so compelling that I didn’t see them. So, well done!

 Overall: 4.5/5. It took me a while to finish (life stuff), but I am thrilled by Darkcliff’s novel. Deception of the Damned is a deep, rich story that illustrates the nature of deception and consequences expertly. I am glad I got to read it, and I wish the author the best!

You can find the Amazon link here: Deception of the Damned.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Wergild: A Truly Terrifying Tale of Devotion and Murder

Today, I am reviewing the Dark Fantasy novella Wergild: A Heartwarming Tale of Coldblooded Vengeance by Boris L. Slocum. This story speaks to my heart, incorporating many of the elements I love in my own writing, and it made me laugh and smile in several places.

 I give this book a 4.75/5. Here is my breakdown.

Characters: 5/5. This novella focuses on a very few characters, but it does so expertly. Slocum creates a world primarily through the perspective of his characters, and each is distinct and easy to identify with, from the vengeance-starved Tuppence (I loved that nickname!), the fish-out-of-water Isabel, and the Fiend...the worldy, enigmatic, but completely understandable Fiend. So well done.

Plot/Storyline: 5/5. You got me. A story about granting a wish, with far-reaching consequences? Hidden motivations and a deep desire to do the right thing...whatever that might be? Questions of free will, something that I literally wrote into my current WIP? I love everything about this story. Everything made sense, everything had a place, and I thought it was a unique telling. Thank you so much, Boris!

Flow: 5/5. As a novella, this book moved faster than a novel might, but it suffered none for that. The pacing kept the hits coming, with the evolution of characters moving at just the right speed for me. I kept reading, never bored, never skipping to see what would happen next. Every action and every paragraph progressed the story, just as they should.

Spelling/Grammar: 4/5. There were a few typographical errors, but it was otherwise expertly edited. The language was fantastic and Slocum obviously has skill as a writer, both creatively and technically. A treat to read! Overall: 4.75/5. This book made me smile because it’s the exact kind of book I love to read. I am so glad that Boris submitted to Beyond the Curtain of Reality, because it alerted me to a talented author that I hope keeps writing for years to come.

If you want to pick up a copy yourself, you can find this book at Amazon.