Monday, April 11, 2016

Book Review of In Search of Gods and Heroes by Sammy HK Smith

Goodreads Summary: Buried in the scriptures of Ibea lies a story of rivalry, betrayal, stolen love, and the bitter division of the gods into two factions. This rift forced the lesser deities to pledge their divine loyalty either to the shining Eternal Kingdom or the darkness of the Underworld.When a demon sneaks into the mortal world and murders an innocent girl to get to her sister Chaeli, all pretence of peace between the gods is shattered. For Chaeli is no ordinary mortal, she is a demi-goddess, in hiding for centuries, even from herself. But there are two divine brothers who may have fathered her, and the fate of Ibea rests on the source of her blood.
Chaeli embarks on a journey that tests her heart, her courage, and her humanity. Her only guides are a man who died a thousand years ago in the Dragon Wars, a former assassin for the Underworld, and a changeling who prefers the form of a cat.
The lives of many others – the hideously scarred Anya and her gaoler; the enigmatic and cruel Captain Kerne; the dissolute Prince Dal; and gentle seer Hana – all become entwined. The gods will once more walk the mortal plane spreading love, luck, disease, and despair as they prepare for the final, inevitable battle.
In Search of Gods and Heroes, Book One of Children of Nalowyn, is a true epic of sweeping proportions which becomes progressively darker as the baser side of human nature is explored, the failings and ambitions of the gods is revealed, and lines between sensuality and sadism, love and lust are blurred.
Goodreads Rating: 4.45 Stars with around 30 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction, Mythology
Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository

Edited 12/1/2016

So, last year author Steven Guscott reach out to me to do a review for his book Book of Prophecy. He's recently reached out to me again to do a review for this book, written by his friend Sammy HK Smith. So thanks, Steven, for keeping me in books to review!

This book took me a ver long time to read, almost two months! Most of that is because I just don't have much time to read. Some of it is because the book is 420 pages and took me a very long time to get into it. It's slow going at first. The hardest part for me in this book is that it switches between so many characters. By my count, it's at least; ten characters view points. For me, that is just way too many characters to read from their point of view. I found some of them to be necessary. Chaeli's, Adley's, Nathans, and a few of the gods were necessary to me. I didn't find Dal's point of view necessary at all, nor did I find Hana's, Kerne's and some of the lesser gods necessary. To me, all it did was muddle the story, and draw it out way longer than it needed to be.

Because of all of these different characters' viewpoints, I could eventually see how they were connected. However, I was expecting some big come together ending that helped with the point of the story, and it ended up just being their individual stories with loose connections to one another. Maybe I was expecting too much, but I felt disappointed. They're all connected in some fashion or another, but there's no real point, as far as I'm concerned, for half of the characters being in the story.

Overall I liked the portion of the book that focused on Chaeli, Adley, and Nathan. I liked the premise of her having to choose between the representative of the Eternal Kingdom and the Underworld. I enjoyed the mythology. It was interesting to see the E.K.'s side of things and the Underworld's side of things. I don't necessarily have strong feelings about Chaeli, but she didn't annoy me as the main character- I just wasn't in love with her. Adley was okay too, but my favorite of the Trio was Nathan. I felt like he offered the most depth, and I enjoyed reading about his inner turmoil about who he is as a person. I could have done without reading about Dal and Kerne. They were probably my least favorite Characters. I found Dal to be incredibly annoying and have no actual place in the story. Kerne was just awful.

As much as I enjoyed the Mythology, I found it hard to keep track of the Gods. Especially Elek and Eli. Their names were too similar for me and for the first half of the book I kept forgetting who was who.

One of my favorite characters in the book was Sheiva. I always find myself loving the witty animal-Esq side kicks in stories. I thought that Anya was an interesting character. I think I felt the most for her in the book because she had to go through so much, and still was incredibly strong. Favorite scene in the book was probably when "Adders" helped Chaeli discover her powers. I found it extremely intimate and just all around lovely. Overall the telling of the story was great- it was imaginative, creative, and the author took a lot of time going into depth of the worlds. I'm a sucker for good detail.

I don't get the random pieces about Blue vs. White. I guess those had to do with Adley and Nathan? But it just felt out of place to me and like it was just filler. Along these lines, the book ended abruptly for me. Maybe this was because of my previous expectations I mentioned, but I don't feel like there was a real ending. Perhaps this is setting it up for a sequel, but it didn't even feel all that transitional to me either. It just ended. I get the ending; I just don't care for it. Again, I expected some big come together moment for all of the characters, but there was none. They all just kind of did their thing in their little stories, and it ended. I feel lost and disappointed.

Overall, it was not a bad read. I'm glad I read it and enjoyed a decent amount of it. It just left a lot to be desired.

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