#Bookreview Be'askaas - Tales of Death and Redemption #amreading

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by Nicholas Kerkhoff 3 out of 5 Stars

The story is set in a fantasy world with magic following the adventures of two brothers who are sent off by their father to apprentice with a necromancer. The story idea sounded interesting and I like zombies so I decided to give it a shot. The Kindle formatting could be worked on. Page breaks would help keep the chapters from starting at the end of other chapters. The book could use a copy editor, too. I found several missing words, misused words, redundancies, and confusing sentences. For example: "There's lots opportunity in the east" missing "of" and determiner agreement is incorrect, "The most disconcerting part were its wide open eyes" should be "was", "and let out a deep and wheezy low." that's where the sentence ends. What was deep and wheezy? Another one, "A cousin though marriage only." a misused word, and the last example,"The boys didn't know if they'd left either; there when the brothers went off bed, and the cold seemed not to affect them." a very confusing sentence with missing words and misused words such as affect. Despite these errors, some sections of the book were well written and drew me in to the story, for a while.

I almost passed on this book. The beginning was slow and full of back story the reader could have learned about as we went along with the two boys. Instead, the information is dumped at the beginning. The story didn't take off until chapter 3 and remained interesting until the army arrives on the necromancer's doorstep. At this point, the novel switches from the boys' perspective to the army's leader's point of view. For three or four chapters there is nothing but back story dumps about Palthrian, and four soldiers in the army. The back story dumps were boring to read because they were all written in a telling fashion with little dialog instead of showing. The information given in the back story isn't needed and can be cut just like most of the back story in chapters one and two. I wish the author would have stayed in the point of view of Rafe, the older brother. In my opinion the novel should be his story and should not have changed to the other points of view.

Another problem with the novel that brought my star rating down was the lack of a plot or any character goals. The boys go to train with the necromancer and a number of random events happen during that time, but none of the events equal a plot or goal for the novel to reach. The result is the novel has no real climax because the reader never knows where the novel is heading.

Chapter three up to the part the army arrives were the best parts of the novel. The story stays in scene mode, not telling mode, and interesting things happen like resurrecting the cow and the boys assisting the other mage exorcise a girl. These were the parts that kept me reading. These parts were well written, well described, and worth reading. If the novel had continued along with the boys discovering their new necromancy world and had some sort of indecent happen to give the boys a clear goal or problem to solve, I think this book would have been great.

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