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

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Review: In the Shadow of the Fall

In the Shadow of the Fall In the Shadow of the Fall by Tobi Ogundiran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So my biggest complaint here is that it all ended too soon. I mean, it is a novella, but there was so much goodness here that I was totally unprepared for the end. That makes it all the more impressive that I throughly enjoyed the world-building and MC character development (something that is usually a lot more limited is shorter stories). The basic story follows that struggle of a temple acolyte who is struggling to succeed as her peers all advance and eventually leave. We pick up the story as she desperately tries to remedy the situation with an ill-conceived plan that doesn’t quite work out as expected. The underlying mythology was also well done, with just enough detail to peak interest and hint at a much greater depth that [hopefully] comes soon … and The “bad-guy” was interesting, if only sparsely described … but there is enough there to get a good feel for the danger he poses. And we get a brief introduction to a nomadic people that could have used a lot more space to explore … because I just love the concept there. Finally there is a pretty significant reveal at the end that caught be by surprise … so well done there. Over all … it didn’t feel like a novella until the abrupt ending … all in all it was an incredible teaser that could easily anchor a solid fantasy series … so I will very likely pick up next installment eventually (which unfortunately loos to be just a little longer on page count).

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#IntheShadowoftheFall #NetGalley

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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.