This was bound to happen eventually, and the more ARC’s we get the greater the possibility. It doesn’t make it any easier though.
Title: The High Road
Series: Spellkeeper Flight; Book 1
Author: Ken Hughes
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
ROTS Setting: EU, Magic
Synopsis: Enter a world of gangs, vigilantes, and magic that’s powerful enough to kill. Mark has never been the survivor his friend Angie is, but when he rescues a mysterious belt from the flames, it’s a decision that changes his life for good. As the two tap into the secret of gravity-controlling magic, they realize the reason Angie’s family tried to destroy the belt. Flying comes at a cost, to their lives and their sanity. Fighting back against a street gang with a vendetta, Mark begins to sense that death waits around every turn. Soon he and Angie come face-to-face with the true danger: hidden masters of other magical forces. The keepers of power want the secret of flying, and they’ll destroy anyone who gets in their way.
Recommendation: I can not recommend this book.
A copy of this book was provided by the author for the purpose of obtaining a review.
I have to say that I had a rough time with this book and almost didn’t make it through. Even then I can’t say I was particularly focused through the latter two thirds of the book. After getting through the first third my brain had gone numb so most of my remarks are directed toward the beginning.
That all sounds super harsh sounding, but I had an extremely hard time with Mr. Hughes’ writing style and prose. I, personally, felt it was wordy and rough so my brain was working overtime just trying to read what’s on the page. This could just be an individual thing because even when I stopped and really tried to analyze the word choice and sentence structure there wasn’t anything glaringly wrong. I’ve read far, far worse but I still found every page to be a struggle.
Through all this I thought Mark, the main character, was pretty flat. Especially at the beginning. Again, in the first third of the book I didn’t really have a feel for his character. Much of the points that were intended to give him depth felt fake. Like his weird animosity toward himself because his dad was a criminal, or his desire to be an artist or become a cop. It was like reading his resume and then finding out it had little or no connection to him as a person. Later in the book he’s built up some history with the reader so it’s not so bad.
As for the plot it’s probably, at least, 80% action. Sounds good on paper right? Sadly it was one of those “running, bad guy, run from bad guy, run into bad guy, breath, run to save friend, run from bad guy, get cornered, run away, breath, run some more, discover more danger, run from danger, run, run from running…….RUN!” I was exhausted and I was sitting on my couch the whole time. On top of that much of the internal dialog of the main character was in the form of questions or restating what had just happened. I found that so long as I paid extra attention to Mark’s thoughts nothing ever surprised me because he always seemed to be a half-step ahead of everything. On the flip-side the plot is pretty much spoon-fed to the reader. Additionally, some of the premise was highly suspect.
As for the magic, it was probably the best part. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it was decent. I may have enjoyed it better if some of the above issues weren’t so taxing.
So, in summary, my experience combined issues reading words, a dull main characters, artificially suspenseful plot, iffy premise and a decent magic system. While I don’t intend to read more in this series, I do intend to check back on this author once he’s got some more experience.