My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Review: Dark Redemption (A Shattered World Novel): Contractors: Book One

Dark Redemption (A Shattered World Novel): Contractors: Book One Dark Redemption (A Shattered World Novel): Contractors: Book One by Justin Miles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Story: ****
Performance: ***

Looking forward to the next installment.

This looks like the first story set in the Shattered Worlds and followed a pair of “Contractors” tasked with a “delivery” to give of a travelogue of sorts through the Shattered Words … which appear to be parallel dimensions where the shattered beings (magic folk) live.  There are six (6) types of shattered:  Fae, Shifters, Mages, Vampires, god[ling]s and Demons and I found each very interesting.  So too was the idea that the veil responsible for keeping humans (norms) and shattered apart was created by none other than Merlin.  World-building +1 *

The story itself alternated between flashbacks to fill in the backstory of the two (2) protagonists: Logan (seer/changeling) and Sam (outlaw/hybrid fae) working as contractors (seems like a cross between messenger and fixer).  Seers are basically human hybrids (human/shattered) who seem to have slipped through the cracks of Merlin’s treaty limits, so they are frequently indentured (aka enslaved) to one shattered faction or another.  Logan is currently free, after escaping from the “Institute” that created him … adding another group to his revenge “list.”  Seers ascend through the power of a shattered and “spiritually” bound with a shattered soul? spirit? something.  Under extreme conditions (threat of death), Seers will manifest additional abilities … making them monsters of a sort (reminded me of the heroes tv show).  Except Logan is no typical seer ...

Ok … the downside:  the narration was a little too forced and came across unnatural (just a touch better than having Alexa read it).  The prose/storyline itself was a bit mechanical, but not bad for what appears to be a debut effort.  On the plus side, the author did not make any of the mistakes that I often find in first efforts either … so props for that.

I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#DarkRedemption #ShatteredWorldContractors  #FreeAudiobookCodes #KindleUnlimited

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.