Review: I, the Provocateur ~ Vardan Partamyan

II, myself
I, the Provocateur
I, the Warrior
I, the Mocker
I respect nothing…
Come forth spirits
From the sunset
From the sunrise
From the depths of hell
From anywhere you dwell
I call thee – come forth
Come forth – cross my path
And my blade shall taste thy blood…

Who is the Provocateur?… The answer awaits…

3 Thumbs-Up

I like dystopian literature, particularly John Christopher and Hugh Howey, so I was looking forward to reading the latest offering in this genre, and this book blended the dystopian view with science fiction, promising a good read.

The book is written in the first person narrative and, like many others that are written this way it makes it difficult to give any real depth to the characters we read about.  Unfortunately this means that the lack of personality to be found in the main lead results in the reader not being able to connect with them early on in the novel, and had me feeling he wasn’t really trying to put things to rights in his ‘job’, but rather the opposite, he was just trying to stir things up to cause trouble and see how far he could push the establishment.  This lack of distinctiveness is not just reserved for the main lead, but bleeds into the other characters we meet, even the bad guy is pretty much a cookie cutter version of any other that we read about in this type of book; it’s not that he is badly written, in fact none of the characters are badly written it is just that he, like the main lead, has no qualities written into him that make him stand out, or the reader connect with either of them.

As much as I was disappointed by the characters in the novel, and their lack of presence, I was pulled into this world by the descriptions of the people who had no other reason to be there, other than providing background.  Their grey and fearful world did a great deal to make up for the lacklustre main characters.  However, the descriptive passages didn’t make me take pause and think of the world we could possibly be living in now, and I think this is because the action took place somewhere other than our planet, making it easier to dismiss the dark elements as being somewhat alien to our perception.  The premise of this novel was good, and I think with a little polishing and maybe a bit of fleshing out this would have been a great read.  The pace is almost break-neck and, maybe, this is the reason the back stories were lost.  I would have enjoyed this novel more if the pace had slowed down somewhat to match that of the world it was set in, which in turn would have allowed the Author breathing room for their character development and a little more world-building.  There were a lot of good ideas in this novel and, I would like to read some more of this Author to see how they handle other subjects; maybe this genre is just not their forte.

I would recommend this to people who enjoy reading sci-fi novels more than the dystopian genre, as I felt this lost its way somewhat by trying to combine these two genres on a different planet rather than stick to the one we circle the sun on.  It would be an interesting read for those who are maybe looking into dipping a toe into the dystopian genre, and one that would be a quick travelling read too.


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