For those who don't know me, I'm going to start this by saying that I’ve not been myself of late, which has affected my reading. I think this book will be loved by a lot of people, just not me at this point in time.
“From a distance, the writhing mass resembled some primordial, bubbling tar pit from which all the nightmares of the world fought for shape and the right to be born.”
This had sooooo much potential to capture me wholly. It’s basically about a knight who sets out on a quest to vanquish an evil demon. So what failed? Well, for me, it was the main character. I get how characters are supposed to be flawed, how they’re not supposed to be perfect, but I found Gabriel off-putting. And it was very early on that I formed this opinion. His self-righteousness is definitely dealt as one of those character flaws, but little else offset it so nothing balanced his character enough for me to root for him. The more I read, the less and less I liked him. I was actually hoping he’d get eaten by a demon so he’d get taken down a notch or two. With an unappealing lead character, the book just fizzled out for me. Such a shame because...
The world was touched upon, but the island where Gabriel undertook his mission was incredibly fun and explored in vivid, nice detail. There were monsters, a forgotten race, fights, and tense moments. It made me frustrated that I was stuck on this incredible island with an egotistical knight.
There were some flashbacks that I found distracting, but I believe that’s because I didn’t care much for Gabriel. One of them should have evoked some sympathy from me, but it was too late for me to change my mind.
The writing was clean and some of the descriptions quite lovely, such as the one I quoted above. It read fast and smooth, for me. Suwak has a gifted way with words, and—based on reviews—many have loved this story. If I were to have a character I remotely enjoyed, I would have loved it as well.
So overall, if you’re not a crazy character driven reader such as myself, you might find this book very appealing. It’s short and cheap, so it’d be a great way to pass an hour or two.