Jeff LaSala wrote:
Arek, were there any other stand-alone books you tried? I've only read a few of the Forgotten Realms ones (Neversfall by Ed Gentry, part of the Citadels series, and Frostfell by Mark Sehestedt, part of the Wizards series) and I really enjoyed them. I'm curious if you can compare Ghostwalker with any others. I think they probably run the spectrum.
My own book was along the same lines: part of a stand-alone series, each book related to the others in the series only by its theme. Only mine is Eberron, not the Forgotten Realms, so the flavor is quite different.
My local bookstore fantasy section is notoriously lacking when it comes to less-famous authors. Its got some big names--Jordan, Tolkien, Pratchett, Eddings, Salvatore, and a few others--but I saw this, read the back, and decided I'd spend seven bucks on a paperback.
So, really, the only other FR stuff I can compare it to is Salvatore's work.
And it's not as good as Salvatore's average, and not near his best. The action is almost as good but...To take Crystal Shard (Salvatore's first book) as an example, Salvatore introduced a more enjoyable cast of characters in one book and came up with a more plausible villain, and didn't try to force some of everything into the mix. He had action (oh yes), and he had characters you got to see in multiple lights, and he had some comedy that flowed very naturally and ranged from making you grin to some genuine laughs, whereas Bars and Derst, the Comic Relief, feel almost like stock characters and most of their antics (like the Potion of Invisibility incident) only give a mild feeling of amusement.
And I'm finding it hard to give a guideline because what I find funny, other people puzzle over, and some of the stuff other people rhapsodize about, I fail to see the point. So I'm feeling like I'm potentially describing the taste of oranges to a blind apple farmer with a citrus allergy.
If I exaggerated some of my issues with this book, it'd be something like:
[rant] If I'm going to have a romantic subplot, I'm sure I can find something better than a case of 'they randomly meet and she's so beautiful he can't get her face out of his head 'cuz it was fated to be so romantic omg hawt!', DAMMIT. [/rant]
While I'm not that emphatic about it, I still get a feeling of what this could
have been, and it could
have been an awesomely fun read.
For review purposes, I'd say this is a star and a half below The Crystal Shard. Ghostwalker loses points by rushing things, not playing to his strengths, and making some strained efforts to include everything.