Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review - The Dark Storm by Kris Greene (fiction)

Publication Date: 2010


Gabriel is a New York City college kid who loves to bury his nose in books, looking up stories of long-dead cultures, lost languages, and forgotten legends. He never imagined one of those legends would come looking for him—until a tough-talking girl named De Mona Sanchez thrusts an ancient weapon into his hands...and recruits Gabriel in a dark epic war he was born to fight.

Banished centuries ago by warrior knights, a demonic army is storming through a dimensional rift into our world. Stalkers are prowling the streets. Corpses are rising up to fight. And Gabriel—a descendant of one of the original warriors—has no choice but to drop his textbooks and start kicking demon butt alongside his new friend De Mona…who has a few secrets of her own. If Gabriel fails, humanity loses. If war is hell, this is hell on earth…

Joshua's take - 2/5☆

Why did I pick up this book? - because the cover caught my eye and I'm always interested in urban-fantasy novels where the main protagonist is male (since that's very rare), especially one from a female author. So that really peaked my interest.

The Dark Storm is the first book in a new urban-fantasy series from author Kris Greene and while it does have some decent writing, it is amazingly generic. It's almost like what if you took a bunch of stuff from other books- a world of demons, agents of light, vampires, goblins, knights, werewolves and mystical weapons of power, blended them all together and weaved the story around the template on "how-to" write an urban-fantasy novel. If this was any more by-the-numbers I would have sworn I'd read it already.

The main problem I had with this book is it's characterization, or lack there of. There's just way to many characters crammed into this slim work (the story constantly shifts through multiple POV's), that I felt like I was missing half the novel, like it was incomplete. There's a sequel to The Dark Storm as there generally is with this sub-genre, but that's no excuse to have such a flimsy table setter. I mean you want readers to come back for the rest of the series right? Also, the two "main" characters of the book, Gabriel Redfeather and De Mona Sanchez (and yes that's her real name!!) are so poorly formed as characters that they feel like they're cursory characters in the background, rather then the one's the whole series is based around. And they both whined and whined so much, especially Gabriel, that I had to re-read the earlier pages and remind myself that he wasn't a freshman in highschool, but already in college!!!

However, I did like the magic system with the witches, warlocks and mages all having different functions in the world, and how there are numerous classes and castes within each magical house. I also liked the back story of how there was a holy war centuries ago between the forces of light and the denizens of hell, and how the ancestors of both sides are fighting over the souls again years later. But man, the most important aspect of the story, the very foundation the world is based around, the magical weapons, felt the weakest in the entire story. Their characteristics and attributes are never fully thought out and explained, their powers appearing more as poor imagination rather than weapons that can control the very fabric of the world.

It's all just so generic that in 2 weeks I probably won't remember the story anymore and sadly I won't be coming back for the upcoming sequel Demon Hunt.

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