Unique story but the writing style is a bit off

3stars

Light & Dark: The Awakening of the Mageknight – by Daniel Fife & Dennis Rose – Review

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How many times have you read about the good ol' struggle between good and evil, light and dark? It gets pretty tiring is not it? However, the same theme of struggle between light and dark is given a new twist with the introduction of a card game that is not anything like what that it looks like on the surface!

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Although the core theme is not totally unique, I would say that its treatment and execution in this book is. For example, how many times have you read about the good ol’ struggle between good and evil, light and dark? It gets pretty tiring is not it? However, the same theme of struggle between light and dark is given a new twist with the introduction of a card game that is not anything like what that it looks like on the surface!

The book starts with an abrupt dialog that is designed catch your attention (and had it not been for the tacky editing, the start was indeed compelling enough to keep you glued to the rest of the book). While the dialog itself is nothing out of the ordinary, the way it is delivered by the mother and what precedes before that definitely gives you a faint idea about Danny’s life and his relationship issues with his mother. Funny that Danny’s mother reminded me of my own dominating and overprotective mother ha ha. The real hero of the book however, is not Danny but Sabrina (at least that is what I felt); if there were no Sabrina, I doubt Danny would have found the scope to grow as a character; on another note, personally I could relate more to the character of Danny than Sabrina; although the smarter of the two, Sabrina at times came across as snooty. The relationship between Danny and Sabrina is nothing like the typical relationship found between a boy and girl in YA novels; in fact, Sabrina makes it pretty clear to Danny at the end, “I will forever be your friend, as well as your comrade in arms, Danny, but that is all I can offer you. I will understand if you desire neither of me from this moment forward.”” This saddened me a little bit. The ending indeed took me by surprise.

Some of the other things I liked about this book: use of unique font styles at the beginning of each chapter, use of a well structured table of contents that keeps you from getting lost (by God, some of the recent indie books I have read had no table of contents at all!), etc. Some of the things I did not like about the book: the clumsy and somewhat slow start at the very beginning (which felt a bit too overwhelming for me at times), and although I am not a native English speaker, I found an odd one or two grammar issues occasionally. Some of the actions in the book tended to be repetitive and hence monotonous due to overuse. These are nothing serious, but if I were the author I’d at least edit the beginning portion to make it more close-knit and tighter. The dialogs did not seem quite natural; in fact, most of the time they felt like back and forth questions and answers:

“”No,” she said, stepping forward, forcing Matt backward. “A Bonded is only to be touched by the wielder. It is dangerous to touch another’s Bonded.”

“Why?”

Sabrina visibly relaxed. “You would have been aware of this fact if you were Lightborn, but since you are only first-years and have not received a Bonded of your own, there is no way you could have known.”

“Each Bonded has a personality of its own,” Briza lectured, jumping in. “You can never be sure how a Bonded might react if touched by one who is not its wielder. Grave injuries have been known to result from such contact.”

“What kind of injuries?” Matt asked, withdrawing his hand, resuming his close proximity to the bed in an attempt to get a better look, like a moth to a flame.

“Severe burns, blindness, or the loss of a limb,” said Sabrina matter-of-factly. “Just to name a few,” she added with a shrug.”

The lead characters are quite realistically portrayed (although some of their actions come across as implausible) and it is good to see them learn and grow; some of the other minor characters don’t get this same chance to grow – rather, they just come and go; I guess maybe the author can do away with some of the unnecessary characters in the book.

Although the start is somewhat bungling, I would suggest you give it a go, especially due to the unique treatment the author gives to an age old theme. Suffice it to say, the author has genuine talent for storytelling and he only needs to improve his craft and amp up his writing and editing styles a little bit.

Conclusion Rating
3 stars

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