Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book Review - Keepers of Arden (The Brothers Volume One)

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Sorry I'm late. I, apparently, am not invincible, and I have come down with a raging sinus infection. Just returned from the doctor's office. Have antibiotics, will write! Now that you know why I'm a little behind, let me get to it. Today I bring you another book review from my Indie Fever 2014 Reading Challenge. If you've never heard of the challenge, I invite you to join us! Just go to the signup page here, choose your challenge level, add your name to the linky list, grab the badge from the sidebar, and start reading! Easy peasy. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!


First, as always, a little about the book I'm reviewing today:

Title: Keepers of Arden (The Brothers Vol. 1)
Author: L. K. Evans
Genre: Fantasy & Sorcery
Length (print): Approx 459 Pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle $2.99

Synopsis:

"Slowly, year by year, day by day, hour by hour, the evil grew stronger while he grew weaker. It found ways around his shield, and, even as he sat in the sun on a beautiful spring day, he could feel the tiny nibbles the evil bit off from his soul."

This is just the beginning of the Laybryth brothers' journey to not only rid the lands of Arden of a vile evil, but for one brother to save the other from the darkness that lives within him.

 ***Will not appear in review elsewhere***
You all know by now how much I love book covers. This one has such a dark feeling to it. I love the imagery, I only wish there was the shadow of a person or a couple of young men in the background-a little secret to be delved out of the fog by a keen eye. I love the typefaces (these two [three?!] look similar enough anyone without a trained eye probably wouldn't pick up on the differences; but I warn the designer to be careful when doing this) and layout of the title, but I would like to see some kerning on the letters and see the K and S moved in a smidge from the edges. It's like when you see two people barely touching, it's kinda uncomfortable. If you're gonna overlap them, let them overlap; if you're gonna keep them away from each other, make sure there's space. Also, the author's name should be centered. This isn't a preference thing, it's more of a designer's rule. If you center some of it, center all of it. Color choices are perfect.

On to the review of what's between the covers!

I grabbed a sample of Keepers of Arden during a December contest I ran on my blog. I have to say, the sample took hold of my mind and I bought the book. I wasn't able to stop thinking about it and was happy when it was next on my TBR list. L. K. Evans created a magical world that captivated me and kept me glued to the pages. Enough about all that, let's get to the good stuff.

From a Reader's Perspective:
In the beginning of the book, we're introduced to a placed named Arden. I could see the city clearly in my mind from the descriptions on the pages. Not long after the story began, I was dragged into a melee of emotional turmoil as fierce, dark creatures were described and the mother in the story showed her evil. There were times the descriptions brought tears to my eyes. As the tale moved along, it began to slow down. I kept waiting for something big to happen. As it was, this book has everything a first novel in a series should have and I'm anxious to read the second installment. But that big thing never happened. I felt the story dragged on a little, but I was so vested in the outcome, I kept reading. I love the brothers and how close they are. From chapter one, we're shown how they share a piece of one another and it's reinforced throughout the story.

From an Editor's Perspective:
I'm a stickler for errors and highlight any I come across. Misplaced pronouns weren't bad. What I did find was that the text could use a good proofreader to pick up on little errors like: dropped punctuation, homophones, and incorrect tenses of words. None of it was enough to throw me out of the story, but there were over 20 errors in the book.

Rating:
+1 Star for phenomenal world building
+1 Star for keeping me engaged
+1 Star for description of creatures that really kept my toes curled
+.5 Stars for making me have an emotional reaction to the mother and son
-.5 Stars for the never making anything big happen
+.5 Stars for a couple of highlighted sentences I loved
-.5 Stars for need for a proofreader
Overall, 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended for anyone who loves magic, mages, and dark forces.

I never do this, so you know these passages moved me. My favorite two lines: "Until you place yourself in another man's shoes, do not pass judgment." and "Every man has a weakness, and one must never judge a man for succumbing to that weakness because at one point you might succumb as well. And wouldn't it be nice to have another man understand your pain and mistake?"

I mean, wow. Love it.

I hope you all enjoyed that review. I do encourage you to grab a copy of the book. Link is above.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

9 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your review! I can't thank you enough for posting and taking the time to read it!

    I hope you feel better. It's the month for colds. Husband had the flu last week. I've steered clear and I'm hoping my luck holds. He didn't look like he was having too much fun.

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    1. You're so welcome! I enjoyed the story very much. I love magic :) I feel a LOT better now. Thanks for the well wishes and the comment, hon!!

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  2. I like the cover and the quotes! That's a good price too considering the book length.

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    1. Since it's my first novel, I didn't want to come out of the gates charging something crazy and turn away readers. The next book is even bigger (Volume 1 is around 146k words, Volume 2 will come close to 180k). Yikes! But I plan on charging the same for book 2. Maybe one day when I feel confident enough I'll charge more, but I think that day is pretty far off. I hope you take a chance on it, and if you do I hope you enjoy it.

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    2. Yikes! 180k?!?! It's gonna take me a week to read that :) Totally looking forward to it, L. K. Those brothers are haunting and awesome. Heather, thanks for the comment! I thought the price was awesome, too! :)

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  3. Sounds good. I'll give this a look later on (in the middle of a few books at the minute). I would've missed the length if you hadn't mentioned it, Heather. I think Amazon's a bit on the mean side when it estimates these things, so that's another plus.

    I sympathise on the homophones. I've had some absolute howlers. One that I caught was misspelling 'got' as 'caught'.

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    1. I've come to the conclusion that proofreading is not one of my strengths. I'm actually not fond of it at all. I know what I wrote, but my computer keeps slipping these odd words in place of what I meant. Very frustrating.

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    2. I absolutely hate proofreading, but, at the same time, I'm finickity about it. I usually end up proofreading stuff twice, which is hateful and time-consuming but does get most of the problems.

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    3. Oh my, Thaddeus... Oh my. Your book was very well done. *applause* I edit my own work 5x then send to my editor and proofread again after. Hopefully, you won't find errors when you read it!! I think we got em all. I'm a hawk though. :) Thanks for the comment.

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