Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reviewing Your World

Cleanse Fire: The Kinir Elite Chronicles, #1
By Anastasia Pergakis 
Ecopy provided by author
Rating:  3 Stars

Captain Derac Vidor takes pride in leading his team of Elite Kinir warrior elves. Serving his country by protecting the weak and rescuing those in need fill his life—until an act of betrayal threatens not only himself but every member of his team. He will stop at nothing to discover who is trying to kill them and why.

Let me start by saying I enjoyed Cleanse Fire. As a debut author, Ms Pergakis is off to a great start. The main male protagonist, Derac Vidor, is an interesting character with internal conflict that is driven by his sense of integrity and honor. The right balance was struck between moral fiber and not overly stiff and prudish.

Several other members on the team are worth noting as well. Kie is a strong female with issues of her own. They are revealed through the course of the book and not all at once, and I liked learning about her in active scenes as the plot unfolded.

Tyn, as Derac’s best friend, is a very likeable character. He had his friend’s back no matter the situation and always looked for the positive from each team member. Rakan, Jardel and Aeli are all secondary characters with distinct personalities that added to the story as well.

With all the positive story aspects noted up front, it’s time to talk about what didn’t work for me. The book needed a final edit before going to print. Word misuse and grammatical issues pulled me out of the story. That’s a common issue for new authors, but I think the easiest to correct in the future.

One issue I had with the story was the somewhat two-dimensional writing. By this I mean senses. In many of the scenes, I had no real idea what the characters looked like or how things smelled or felt.

My biggest problem with Cleanse Fire is there was no real description of the world. I had no idea why there were elves, faeries and dwarves and why they were allies or enemies. Humans existed in this world, but the mention was so tenuous, for the most part I forgot they were part they existed in Kinir.

Some world description would have been helpful as well. I know Kinir is a fantasy world, but modern phrases occasionally crept into the writing. When comparing that with the dragon’s verbiage and some of the other vernacular, the world did not seem modern in the contemporary sense.

Did all of these issues detract from the book? They did a bit for me. Will they keep me from reading the next book in the Kinir Elite Chronicles? Not a chance. I have a feeling Ms Pergakis’ stories will get better with each telling, and I intend to enjoy the resulting novels!