Friday, March 22, 2013

Format:Kindle Edition
Book Review: Chausiku - The Gathering Storm - Book 1
by Pamela E Cash
Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd

In the interests of openness and honesty, I would like to state that the book was gifted to me in return for an honest review.

Writing Style - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
This is a strong, enjoyable narrative work with nicely balanced dialogue and a well defined style.
This feels like a YA Fiction, though the writing does lend itself to younger readers and I have to say, I enjoyed the read. I should also point out that younger readers will be faced with several scenes of very graphic violence and a few deaths, so parents should take note that this is not aimed at children, despite the cover and writing style.

Character Development - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
I very much liked the characters. All of them worked well and developed nicely throughout the story. There were shades of "Heroes" in parts of the sub-plots, but these were very individual and nicely written into the overall plot line.
Chausiku's sudden abilities were nicely approached, and it made her into a far more rounded character as she learned and adapted.
I did feel that the father character needed a little more than just emotional content. Although his development was entirely understandable based upon the plot revolving around him, he never really struck me as a `father' character, and certainly not the father of a teenage girl.

Descriptive - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
The environments and locations were given in vivid detail. The descriptive remained consistently good throughout and the author made good use of an existing knowledge of the real areas she described.
Occasionally, I felt the character descriptions were a little light, but in fairness this was never something that detracted from the tempo of the book, or the scenes the author presented.

Language & Grammar - 3.5/5.0 (Good)
In general, the language used is well selected and nicely varied and the grammar and editing is of a good standard.
I did find a handful of minor spelling errors, though I understand these are already in the correction process. However I also noted there were several tense issues in the narrative, where the text momentarily changed from a past tense narrative to a present tense. These were a little off-putting, especially as their places within the text were noticeable as they related directly to the key characters.
Beyond this, the dialogue was excellent, very realistic and very much in context of what was going on.

Plot - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent) *MINOR SPOLIERS*
I really enjoyed this story. Although it felt a little haphazard in the early part of the book, it quickly began to tie together as more characters were introduced and more time passed. I think - if I were to be picky - there were a few instances where I felt the same information was being given in a slightly revised way, and although this didn't spoil the book, it did feel a little unnecessary.
The gist of the tale is a prophecy regarding a powerful child who will be born, and the man who seeks to control her and her power. The course through the sub-plots is filled with several violent deaths, as I mentioned earlier, and as the final confrontation concludes, you definitely feel the sigh of relief.
Having said that, other than a nicely defined twist at the end, the plot and its sub-plots are reasonably predictable. There are some excellent side-plots and events that will keep the reader very entertained and interested, but really, there are very few surprises lurking in the story.
Nevertheless, this is still an excellent tale and very well told.

General - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
Minor issues aside, this is certainly a book worth the time and money. There is a little bit of everything in here and nothing is lacking.
I would readily recommend this to anyone looking for an entertaining fiction read.

A very solid 4 star recommendation

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