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Phantasy - Marlowe Sr. As always, I’ll start my review with a few notes and disclaimers.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
This book is not within my preferred genre. To the author’s credit, I explained this and Marlowe still sought an honest opinion. I have huge respect for an author that seeks criticism and honest reviews.
I did not finish the book. I made it a quarter of the way through before I decided I could not finish it. I offered to forgo the review, but the author requested I go ahead and post one. Again, gaining my respect.

Alrighty, let’s get started.

I’ll start with what I did not like:

First, the protagonist. By the end of the first chapter, I didn’t like him. In my opinion, he was whiny, entitled, and in no way shape or form did he take accountability for anything that happened in his ‘tragic’ life, which relative to most is not tragic at all. For me, because of personal reasons, his self-pity set my teeth on edge. Every time he complained, I wanted to choke some sense into him and tell him to grow a pair and change his life himself. His anger is misplaced, in my opinion, and he blames everyone else for situations that he himself could have easily avoided. He had the power the entire time (first quarter of the book) to change his life, and all he did was whine. Like I said, for me, I couldn’t handle it. I need a protagonist who takes his tragedies by the horns and wrestles them into submission. The main character might have done this later on in the book, but each time he complained it added a brick to my wall of annoyance and anger. I doubt anything he could have done would have torn down the wall enough for me to change my mind about him. There’s not enough sugar in the world to rid my mouth of the bitterness I swallowed each time he put blame on someone else. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

Secondly, if this character did indeed turn around his life, it’s a shame it took sooooo long for him to do it, or even show some sign of doing so. I found myself skimming right away. There’s too much day to day conversations, too many arguments with his mother, and too long of a discussion about coconuts. If this book would have been trimmed down by half, I might have gotten through it. As it is, it’s just too drawn out for my taste. I think this might go back to genre preference. I want a book that moves quickly. I want to be so darn curious about what’s happening that I can’t put it down, that I get annoyed my body requires sleep, that a shower is needed, that my husband wants to take me to my favorite restaurant. This book had no action in it for me. Maybe the book within the book has action, but so little happened in the beginning that I couldn’t make it to what fun might have lurked in later chapters.

Thirdly and lastly, the format of the writing is too distracting for me. It could have been some translation issues, maybe it was because I did not understand the protagonist's language style, maybe it was because I’ve never read a book done in script or play format. The random capitalizations and ellipsis rarely made sense. Exclamation points were in awkward places. It was a chore to decipher; and that’s saying something since I’m not grammatically inclined. I usually gloss right over typos and odd punctuation. At no point was I drawn into the story. I knew I was reading the entire time.

Now, what I did like. Unfortunately, since I didn’t finish the book, this section is rather small. But this poor little paragraph just might change your mind about reading it.

The idea behind the book is interesting. If the protagonist was more to my liking and the format of the book mainstream, I would have hopped on the pendulum and eagerly swung from story to story. Two books for the price of one? Heck ya! Let’s remember (as I’ve said in a few other reviews I’ve done), without a character for me to latch onto, I don’t care how novel (haha...ha...ha) the idea is or how brilliantly the writer strings together words, I’m not going to like it. So, although the idea was nifty, it just wasn’t enough to carry me through.

I want to leave you with the knowledge that I am an adventure, Dungeons and Dragons type fantasy reader. Again, this was not my normal genre and might have played a role in my review. I’d suggest reading a chapter or two on Amazon before you decide.

Well, there it is; the ramblings of a character addicted reader. I’ll leave you with a quote from the movie, ‘Billy Madison’:

“What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”