Review: The Demon Hunter Saga (Demon Hunter #1-3) ~ Cynthia Vespia

Demon HunterThe acclaimed fantasy series comes together in one epic saga. Do you know what horrors lie beyond these pages? Costa Calabrese has just uncovered the truth about his past. Some truths should never be revealed. When you learn you’re the son of the worlds foremost and feared hunter of demons, life’s rules inevitably change. Now Costa has been chosen to walk in his famed father’s footsteps and take up the role his bloodline demands of him…whether he wants to or not. He is a killer of killers, laying waste to the scourge of evil that threatens the existence of mankind. He is the chosen one. He is the DEMON HUNTER.

2 Thumbs-UpUsually the best thing an Author can do, in my mind, is publish a trilogy they have written all together in one edition.  Not only does this save space on my groaning bookcases, but it also means that, should I really get into the trilogy I’m not running all over trying to track down the remaining books; unfortunately this was not the case here.

To start with the entire book is only 393 pages long, to me that is not a trilogy in the true sense of the word, it is just three short stories containing the same characters published together.  Those characters to me were very one-dimensional and it seemed as if the Author were trying to breathe life into something they played when they were younger.  The main protagonist was just unbearable and I couldn’t connect with him at, and because of the constant mood swings and changing of his loyalties, I actually began to wonder if maybe there was a long running typo of the leading ‘s’ not being printed in the book whenever he was mentioned.  It was as if the Author intended him to be male, but then lost their way and gave him too many of the irritating traits we women have; add to that the teenage angst and he was the most unlikable main character I have read in a while.  Even the villains were really not villains; they were easily dispatched back to wherever they came from showing no real threat to anyone in particular.

The storylines in all of the books were predictable and, any reader who enjoys fantasy as their usual fare will be able to figure out what is going on way before the Author lets us in on the plot. I felt an element of surprise and a bit more care taken when drafting this storyline would have elevated it to a different level.

The main reason though that this trilogy received a 2 thumbs review rating is brought to you courtesy of bad editing.  There were so many typos and inconsistencies throughout all three books, that in places they actually changed the meaning of the passage being read, or made that particular part of the plot laughable.  A good proof-reader and editor could have pointed this out to the Author, which in turn would have resulted in a book that was more plausible.

I so wanted to really like this trilogy but, unfortunately, in the end it just wasn’t for me.  If you’re at a loose end and want to take a look at this I’m not going to recommend otherwise, but be warned it may not be as good as you think.  I may try reading something else by this Author to see if the errors in this one were just that their skills had not been honed yet, so I’m not entirely giving up on them.

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Review: The House in Banes Meadow (Volume 2) – Jessie Cox

Banes MeadowIn Cherokee and Creek legend, long ago a Shaman sought immortality. After much Medicine and Ceremony, the Creator granted her wish. But as nothing, except Creator is without flaw, the Shaman could only be killed by a knife or an arrow piercing her open eye and she was cursed to drink human blood for eternity. Legend tells that she was killed by a cunning Creek warrior. But if that is true then how has she returned to plague the area around the town of Bristow, Oklahoma and the Creek Reservation? More importantly who can kill her? Deputy Ray Corngrower and John Littlefeather and a host of others join forces to combat this ancient evil.

3 Thumbs-UpThis is the second book in the Ray Corngrower series and, after reading this I am divided as to whether or not I want to go back and read the first.  This is not because it was a bad book, I actually enjoyed this immensely; it’s because there were a few things in it that I felt let it down and I don’t want to visit the debut book in case there is more of this in its pages.  This may not make sense now, but hopefully by the end of the review it will become clear.

The main protagonist in this book is a Native American and I was really looking forward to reading his back story and getting a deep insight into his motivation and personality; unfortunately this was not to be.  Like most of the characters in this novel, he was sorely under-developed and, what could have been a truly amazing character felt, at times, like he was fading in and out of the book to the point where he was barely there in some places.  I so wanted to be able to like this character and possibly empathize with him, but the lack of ‘fleshing out’ just made this an impossible task.  I truly feel that if more time had been invested into his back story, he would have become an amazing and utterly fascinating main character.  This is where part of me is tempted to read more of this series, as I am intrigued to find out whether the characters are developed more as it progresses; it is also the reason I don’t want to back track and read the first book as if this is the depth of character development in the second book, I worry if there will be any at all in the first.

The book has incredible potential to be so much more, as it is unique in the way it successfully brings together modern-day life and Native American culture.  It is also unique in the fact that it brings together subjects that would make this book appeal to a wide range of readers.  There is mystery, suspense that had me on the edge of my chair in some places, history and myth, so it touches all bases there.  Although the writing is a little sloppy in some places, it is not enough to be distracting but, this is one of those books that could really have used a good editor with a firm hand to clean it up a little.  I may read others further along in the series as they become available, as I’m interested to see if the writing style and characters develop as the Author hits their stride.

I would recommend this book to anyone readers that are interested in Native American culture or have a Native American as a main character, also those who enjoy mystery and suspense novels may find this an enjoyable little read.

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