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 22, 2024

Review: The Amulet of Alamin

The Amulet of Alamin The Amulet of Alamin by Felix Alexander
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book: ***
Performance: ***

An Interesting Historical Fantasy

This book will be way better if you have at least a little Mesopotamian history under your belt (and can remember a good portion of it). In short, it was a fascinating fantasy that combines elements of ancient Hebrew stories with middle eastern myths and legends set in context of a war of aggressive expansion by the evil Zagesi. As the story unfolds, you get a veritable who’s who of famous names, Sargon, Enki, Abram et al with angles, demons, immortals (aka shape changers), nephilim, etc. In fact … it is the huge cast of main and supporting characters that is this story’s weakest link. There are so many that it is difficult to keep track of everything and main plot gets buried under extraneous side stories in a failed attempt to overcome the lack of character differentiation and/or character growth. It’s just too busy and it didn’t pull me into the story at all. This is more like an extended version of a short story than a novel … and this doesn’t work very well for me the reader. Add to that a tendency to add details that just take up space and don’t really add much to the story or advance the plot as far as I can tell.

This issue is compounded by an average audio performance where the narrator struggles to differentiate voices, especially when the story changes the PoV in the middle of the chapter (the prisoner escape and chase being a perfect example of swapping back and forth between the escapees and the pursuers several times in the chapter where it almost seemed like there were all in the same party). Other than that, the pacing and enunciation was good for what was happening within the story. Overall it was a fun distraction, but not a favorite.

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

#TheAmuletOfAlamin #TheShadowsOfTime #FreeAudiobookCodes

View all my reviews

No comments:

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.