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Review of The Avatar of Calderia by David Echeandia

The Avatar of Calderia: Book 1: Awakenings (The Avatar of Calderia Trilogy) (Volume 1) - David M. Echeandia

First, the disclaimers:

1. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
2. Reading is subjective. This is just my opinion.

I’m confused. I’ll say that from the start. I’m confused cause I’m not a 100% sure how I really felt about this book. This review might reflect my puzzled state, so bear with me. And, honestly, this went from 2 stars to 4 stars back to 2 then to 3 and up to 4 and back to 2. Confused? Join the club.

I enjoyed the actual writing. I know that might be weird for some, but it was easy to read. Not in a simple way or dumbed down way. The sentences flowed brilliantly in a relaxing prose that I quite enjoyed. I would have lost myself completely except...

And herein comes my bafflement. I hate to say, but a lot of this book felt like a prologue. I wasn’t there in the story during several chunks. It was like I was being told what was happening instead of immersing me into the scene. Some parts were brilliant, and I think that’s why I had such a hard time with it. When it came to Reagen, each scene with him was what I would have preferred. I was there. I felt his sadness, sat at the table with Doughal and him, listened to the banter, and understood the interaction of soldiers. It made me want to be there all the time. Opposite from those scenes were chapters like Rak’koth taking over Surrikand where the whole time it read exactly like a prologue to me. Then there were chapters that fell in the middle of all that. They didn’t immerse me, but they didn’t read like a prologue.

Now, all that being said, I’m excited for the second book. I’m curious what happens. And that says a lot because--as anyone who follows my reviews will know--I’m a character reader and I wasn’t latched on to any one character in this book. Killian and Ellie are probably the ones I hope to connect more with in book 2. With all the backstory set and the plot for book 2 well on its way, I hope I can connect with them more.

I actually found Ellie to be interesting. She’s tough, but has a very sensitive side. I’m curious if Echeandia can keep her character strong in book 2 and not turn her into a damsel if she falls in love (which, unfortunately happens to a lot of strong female characters).

I’ll mention this next part just as an FYI. It didn’t bother me in the least, but I know it might some. This is an ADULT book that is sexually heavy. There is rape. There is sex....several of such scenes I found very well written while others...meh.

Lastly (and of pure personal taste), this book was too descriptive for me. I’m not a fan. A paragraph or two should set the scene for my tastes, but Echeandia was thorough in his descriptions which I found myself skimming regularly. Let me inform any skimmers and anti-description readers that it is very easy to skim those sections and not lose a thing from the plot or story. Echeandia, whether by accident or on purpose, set up descriptions in consecutive paragraphs that are easy to bypass. Nothing major is hidden in them. So, Mr. Echeandia, I thank you for that.

I know I’ve said a lot of negative things about this book, but I want to finish with one sentence that sums up how I feel. I will, I repeat, WILL buy the second book.

My ramblings are done.