Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Uplifting Sunday Afternoon Read

Jennie Hansen, author & reviewer at Meridian Magazine just reviewed HEROES OF THE FALLEN and said it,

"is no uplifting Sunday afternoon read, but it does make the final Nephite/Lamanite confrontation unforgettable. Though billed as historical, it's as much speculative as historical. It's also brutal, gory, and depressing, but then it's all about one of the most evil, corrupt periods of history the world has ever known."

I like that because this was never intended as a Sunday school read, it was intended to be the Book of Mormon historical that had teeth. Brutal, gory and depressing?~I never thought so. Yes, it is a grim time period, but part of the concept behind Heroes of the Fallen is just that-the Heroes, those beacons of hope against the night-black wall of opposition.
Going on...

"The wickedness that prevails at this time may be more than many readers wish to grapple with. I don't doubt the book's realistic portrayal of evil people and evil acts are very close to the true events of that time, but I suspect there is a sound reason Moroni didn't dwell on those events in the graphic manner West does. Readers accustomed to reading the more violent and graphic science fiction novels of our day will likely feel more comfortable with this depiction. The same is true of the magic and occult practices of the priests and Gadiantons which are highly reminiscent of some of the current fantasy novels of our day."

Yeah, I do think readers of fantasy will get more out of HEROES than the usual B of M romance readers-that's the way I wanted it.

"West has a rapid fire style that keeps the action moving at a fast pace and since this novel is expected to be the first in a series, there are many incidents that do not reach conclusions and characters introduced whose stories go nowhere in this volume. The events of this historical period as portrayed by West are clearly speculative, but plausible because of similar occurrences among other corrupt civilizations that have been destroyed at other times. There are few errors in the text of the type commonly found in self-published books."

Definitely, I have to have that rapid fire to keep things moving-that's my biggest problem with Robert Jordan's later works too slow, too bogged down-but I sure don't believe that any characters story is going nowhere? We know where everyone is by books end and we know roughly what they are about to do, nobody is left holding the train ticket to nowhere. I'm also glad they were few errors in the text commonly found in self-pubbed books considering I'm not self pubbed~thank you very much.

"This book will appeal primarily to men and to those women who enjoy violent, action-packed science fiction and fantasy. Those who read for pleasure or enlightenment may not be comfortable with this novel, neither will those who prefer scriptures straight without imaginative enhancements."

I'd like to think people who read for pleasure and enlightenment are not always comfortable, and really read scriptural historicals without there being any imaginative enhancements present? I'm calling you out historical romance authors.

But I am very pleased that Hansen ends with,

"But make no mistake, West is a talented writer and whether a reader ordinarily picks up fictionalized scripture novels or science fiction, once embarked on this novel readers will find it nearly impossible to put down."

So what are you waiting for? Pick it up.

The full review can be found here. I almost forgot to add-Jennie Hansen did give me 5 stars on Goodreads.


Dan said...

That's awesome, David. I'm very happy for you. You're breaking new ground with this series, and I'm glad to see a publication like Meridian recognize it. Congrats!!!

David J. West said...

Thansk Dan-much appreciated. And yes, I do feel like I am breaking new ground-had to write what I wanted to read.

Nicki Elson said...

Hey, congratulations on the review! Even if some comments were annoying, sounds like you found it fair overall, and it ends w/ a HUGE compliment. Plus 5 stars. :)

That was an odd comment about the few errors - I mean, if they weren't there, why comment on them?

David J. West said...

Thanks Nicki-I have no idea, I was kind of like what-what?

Mary Gray said...

Haha, this review makes me laugh. We're all comfortable with different levels of conflict I guess.

I'm glad she gave you five stars. Congrats on her compliments. :)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

WOW!! Awesome! Congratulations again. This book is getting serious buzz!

David J. West said...

Thanks Mary-I think so. I can't say how surprised I was that she gave me 5 stars, since she usually hates speculative stuff.

Much appreciated Terry.

Krista said...

What a complex review! I thought the same thing when I read the "self-published" part. Wha? But anyhow, way to be out there on the edge!

David J. West said...

Thanks Krista and "Oh yeah" I'm edgy! Hatchachacha!

Charles Gramlich said...

it's so nice when a reviewer takes your work seriously. Cool on this.

The Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations on the review!

David J. West said...

Thanks Charles, I was surprised.

Golden Eagle, much appreciated-thank you.