The Soul of Chaos by Gregory Wunderlin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It was a rocky start, jumping right in with power play/conspiracy against one royal scion while switching up to her sibling just trying to survive his exile into some sort of mine. There was obviously a lot of depth to the world building; however, a lot of it remains hidden in the choppy prose and it took me way too long to catchup, so a few more details for each scenario would have been appreciated. Still, it turned into a fairly interesting adventure … with Kali soon spending most of her arc trying to avoid discover candor capture and Rurik taking his crew of “breakers” into the fray from the other side. I still don’t have a clear idea what a breaker is outside of some sort of miner teaching for magical detritus in the bones of a once great magical civilization (in that respect, it is sort of a dystopian story). I didn’t particular care for the MC introductions, but they grew on my toward the end. Each MC has something special to contribute and the slow reveal was well done and helped make the story work … especially toward the end, when it pace picks up dramatically to stick the landing.
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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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.