1. I read Fantasy ever since I can remember. 2. My guilty pleasure is chick lit. And 3. You can call me Nya.
As part of Burdin’s End’s Virtual Book Tour, I was offered a free copy of this book by Sage at Sage Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. This is the third installment of the Beasts of Burdin trilogy; however it can be read as a standalone novel.
With a first-person narrative that is both bold, hilarious and straight to the point, I have to admit that this book was very entertaining and engaging. I feel it deserves a little bit more than 3 stars from me, but a few minor details prevented me from giving it the chance to make the jump to 4 stars.
The Characters & Points of View
The strongest point of this book, in my opinion, is the fact that the characters feel genuine and real. They make mistakes, they learn from them (or not), they swear (a lot). YES, Nader took a risk here, but he made up for the possibility of each character becoming a bit more “unlikeable” by making them beautifully flawed. So if you expect perfect characters that always do the right things and are blessed with lucky sevens, you won’t get it here. However, if you are ready for imperfect characters with imperfect attitudes, and a good dose of humour, then this book is for you.
Do I have a problem with the main character’s attitude? Ohhh, loads of them. But this is what makes the character good! It makes you feel something.
Ok, only negative point here is a certain POV that comes, unexpectedly, at a certain point (no spoilers) in the book. Not only the voice for this POV is extremely similar to Ty, making Ty instantly less unique, but even in terms of plot, I thought it was unnecessary. We could skip these chapters easily, and miss nothing. Plus, I didn’t feel the emotion I was supposed to feel from them – I’d go as far as say that I’d rate this book higher should these chapters go.
So the concept was pretty cool: “Demons are all in a person’s head. I’ve seen it a million times. Someone gets a thought and latches on to that thought so hard that they conjure a physical manifestation.” Even being the third volume of the series, Nader took new readers into consideration and made everything very clear without info-dump. So Ty Burdin’s colourful thoughts and hilarious remarks tell us everything we need to know about this alternate world.
I loved how I didn’t think any of the events were predictable – maybe that’s just me, but I am being honest. The twists were good, and I believe I was even shocked at some point.
Nader’s style is what I call “short and sweet”, straight to the point. I don’t always attribute a positive connotation to this style but, in this case, it works very well. Being the narrative in first-person, it’s easy to be in Ty’s shoes; and the Present tense (ooh, risky!) gives that sense of immediacy that suits action and fast pace. I have to say that it must be difficult to write in the Present tense from the beginning until the end of a whole novel, and I was expecting Nader to fail, at some point. While I do not think he failed, at all, there are some bits that suffer from the intensity of this tense. I think these are mostly related to transitions in time that are not separated by scenes. Examples : “That paragraph takes exactly two hours to write.” “Those two paragraphs take an hour, drunk.” “I close my eyes for a moment. When I open them again,…” What I mean is that it is difficult to give a sense of time passing, when everything is being narrated in the present. Apart from that, my only other “small complaint” goes to the use of passive voice for some action scenes. It slows down the action and minimizes the impact immensely. Overall, though, I do think the style suits the story and the main character; it’s quite a fun read too!