Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Review: “The Legend of Witch Bane”

“The Legend of Witch Bane by Kevis Hendrickson

I couldn’t finish this book. I really tried, as he had plenty of 5-star reviews on it, but I just couldn’t. Now I’m not an expert, just someone who enjoys reading and there are very few books that I refuse to finish or just give up in the middle.

What I had a hard time with:

I thought the kids were far too young. For what they got themselves into, I just couldn’t believe that a 10 year old would be as proficient as he was at 10. Even as a king’s son he wouldn’t have started training in combat till at least 7 or so, and I just don’t see him being as good as the master fighters in a few years of training.

How convenient. There were far too many times in the book where the kids found themselves captured or unable to complete a task, and the kids just “happened” to have what they needed on them to complete it. I think the worst example of that was when the kids needed to get across a lake, and the boat-master refused to let them across but wouldn’t tell them what sort of payment he wanted. One of the kids happened to notice he was wearing a necklace that was missing a gem, and wouldn’t you know it, they just happened to have that gem on them.

The fighting. The older two children constantly fought. There was no back-story detailing why they fought so much. I understand the oldest girl was a step-sister, but I really needed some more information to understand and empathize with their bickering.

More convenience. The kids would fight, but lose, with these massive wounds. On a 10 year old he would have been dead in minutes based on the description of the wounds he suffered. Then you wait the 10 minutes or so for the bad guys to leave (they never finished him off). The the sister would come and cry. Then finally a mysterious man shows up with herbs to cure the kid. So the kid’s been bleeding on the ground with massive wounds for at least half an hour and a total stranger shows up to heal him. Oh and the stranger used to be hunting them but had a change of heart. Right.

What I liked:

I like that the author is self-publishing these books on the Kindle. I think that is bold, and I hope he is able to make a tidy profit from them.

I liked the price, even though I couldn’t finish it, $2.99 for a book of that length was appropriate.

I like the scope of the fairytale he was trying to tell. Three young adventurers set off on an epic tale of adventure to save their kingdom and defeat the evil in the land. Epic idea, just poorly executed.

Looking back I wish I would have read the sample first rather that just buying the book outright. The believability ultimately is what did me in on this work. I just didn’t empathize with the characters, I didn’t believe the bad guy’s motivations, I didn’t believe how they managed to get through the day.

Normally if I can’t finish a book I give it a 1 star, but I’m giving the author one extra for the effort and the storyline. I don’t want to just give 1 star as I feel my review would just be ignored, but I can’t in good conscience recommend this book for reading unless you have little children who won’t mind all the plot holes and lack of substantiative characters.

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