Saturday, December 5, 2009

Review: Age of Misrule

If five people were chosen from birth to save the human race from extinction at the hands of an evil race of gods from another age, then this is exactly how it would happen. Filled with humor,  romance, betrayal, infighting, and argumentative hilarity; this book is exactly the kind of urban/contemporary fantasy that I love to read. The characters even address the fact that the whole idea of them saving the world is cliche! The plot and the characters are presented in a way that make them real, and I feel sufficiently attached to each of them, despite their obvious and sometimes glaring faults.

World's End, as I said, is about five normal (for the most part) people, who discover, along with the rest of the world, that their world is falling apart by the seams. Ancient gods are being unleashed upon the world as an evil race of god like beings called the Fomorii break an ancient pact to stay out of our world. The five "Brothers and Sisters of Dragons" are called forth to release the Danaan, the antithetical race of beings that are to oppose the Fomorii, by collecting five talismans and bringing them together to summon the Danaan.

My Thoughts

The good
I didn't really like this book when I first started it, because the beginning of the book is in such stark contrast with the end of the book. I see now that it makes sense that this dichotomy would exist because the world as the Brothers and Sisters know it is being torn asunder as the ancient gods return and magic is restored to the land. I thought that the direction that the book was taking was very different from what I had read on the back, and that I had judged this book incorrectly. I put this book down for several months and only continued to read it this past week. When I picked it up again and read on I saw it in a whole new light.

Like I said World's End seems like it is exactly how these events would pan out in real life if they were to happen. The book is gritty and descriptive and is not ashamed to describe some of the more unpleasant parts of saving the world, which are often only glimpsed in other books. I often find  that other books describe the process of saving humanity from the apocalypse in a rather feel good way, and the ending of this book makes you feel anything but good. I loved it.

Mark Chadbourn has his own unique style of writing that combines an omniscient and very descriptive point of view with a feeling of personalization for each of the characters. The characters have their own personalities, their own lives, their own stories, and each of them feels like a seperate entity and I had no difficulty with keeping track of who was who like I have in other books. Mr. Chadbourn is good at descriptive language and he inserts it into the story in a way that makes descriptions (which I usually skim over) easy to read without sacrificing the descriptive ability of said description (redundancy!).

The Bad
A few of the plot elements and twists were not executed in a way that I found eye catching or sufficiently devastating to the characters. The plot twists were done in a way that did not make them feel like twists at all, they were simply developments that the characters rolled with despite their impact on the course of events.

I could also have done with a little more of the "magical" aspects of the new world that the characters find themselves in. We catch glimpses here and there but I feel like there is still much to be desired in that department, and as you know what really makes the mechanics of a book tick are what keep me at the edge of my seat wanting more. I think that is one of the reasons that I will enjoy reading the rest of the series, I'm excited to see exactly how this new world of their is going to work.

My Conclusion

I would certainly recommend World's End (and the whole Age of Misrule Series) to anybody who likes gritty, down to earth, dark and virtually real fantasy books, but for those of you who are expecting a world filled with fireballs, devastating spells, flashy effects, or witches on broomsticks you're not going to find your fix here.

Check out my reviews of Books Two and Three!

1 comment:

Seak said...

I guess I'll have to pick this one up. I think the covers of this series are awesome.


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