A DRM-free Steam-punk Fantasy tale
There once was a woman named Amaranthe Lokdon. She loves her job as an enforcer, hunting down thieves and all manner of evil that may cross her path. One day she is called on specifically by one of the higher-ups in down to do a special project. Imagine her excitement! … And you’ll have to imagine more than that, because that’s all I’m going to tell you about this wonderfully crafted story by Lindsay Buroker. Oh, and one more thing. there is an assassin His name is Sicarius. You will have to read it to find out the rest… the question is, should you read it? Short answer: yes. Long answer: read the review, okay?
Buroker does a good job at setting up the story and putting in place elements that will play well into the story later on. The characters are pretty good, though often predictable, but I enjoyed the humour in the dialogue spurred on by different backgrounds and world views. I am quite amazed at how good the book is despite the fact that not a lot happens. There is a single plot thread that develops slowly throughout the story, but though the pacing is a little slow, I was impressed that Buroker kept the tale engaging throughout.
I was not completely convinced by the plot. Amaranthe Lokdon devises this plan off of the top of her head, and it definitely feels like an off-the-top-of-her-head plan. It didn’t convince me, and I am glad to see that, though this is what drive the story, Buroker didn’t just have the other story characters go along with it “just because that’s what the story’s about, okay!”
All in all, the plot points that were unconvincing and left me hanging, asking “Why” in the first half of the book were rectified by the second half. The biggest problem I had throughout was “Why is Sicarius even hanging out with these untalented folk and entertaining such an unconvincing plan?” I was happy to see that this was tied up nicely by the end and it didn’t not leave me in want. I will say, however, that such seemingly glaring character flaws and plot holes at the beginning of a book could turn a lot or people off, thus they would never finish it and find out that it is actually good. It kind of gave me that thriller feel where you don’t really know the whole story until the very end (and even then a lot is left for your imagination… or for the other many books in the series 😉 ).
A good fantasy read. I didn’t find anything in Buroker’s writing to make her work stand out from the crowd (other than not being awful like many self-published indies these days. 😉 :P). She didn’t do an excellent job at description, action, dialogue, plot, characters, and all things that make up a book, but rather a well rounded good job. IMHO this is better than doing excellent at one thing (i.e. description) but completely failing at another (i.e. dialogue). If you like fantasy/steam-punk this is for you.