Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Shadows and the Innocence: Vol.2 The SomnAgent Erik Nelson
Genre: Fantasy/New Adult
Book Rating: 6
Personal Rating: 6

Lets start off by saying I do think this Author is a good writer.  Great even.  But I had a lot of issues with this book.  Most of them stemming from my one major issue with the first book which by the way I enjoyed far more than this book.  It was a tough decision deciding whether I thought it was indeed a writing error or just a personal issue so I went ahead with my opinion on the first book and rolled with technical error.  It's a shame because I rather like this author but this time i couldn't give it a 'but this just made up for my issue' comment to save the day.

Lets start with Slyder.  Dark.  Brooding.  All the makings of a good anti hero.  Even more annoying in this book.  His inability to assess the situation and act accordingly is still astounding.  I sorta hated on him not behaving like a good assassin in the first book and in this book he just seems to always speak out of turn and never just shuts up and pays attention.  Always putting himself in more danger instead of trying to find the best way out of danger.  His need to be in control of his destiny forcing him to make stupid decisions is just annoying.  When your life is quite literally on the platter and you can not destroy your enemies it's time to take a step back.  Reassess and heed the advice of the people in your camp and stop being a stubborn idiot.  Suffice it to say he annoyed me even more in this book.   And I still can not break away from the fact that his name is slyder.  I"m not trying to think of lord of the rings when I read this, especially since it is so well written and is nothing like it.  It's a good story why pull your readers out with such a close similarity in both character and name. 

Lillium.  By far the best written character in this book.  I sorta liked her in part one.  But I really love her in this book.  Smart, level headed, troubled and harboring a dark past.  She's just a joy to read. One of the reasons I say this author is indeed a good writer.  I honestly could've used more of her.  My only issues was the last series ended with her and others on the dock of an island.  I was fine with that.  It was okay.  I didn't need more.  Ready for the next phase.  The author felt the need to let us know what she did before then during the battle in the caves.  Honestly I felt like i was reading the same thing  twice.  It was tedious.  Like just extra pages the author thought wouldn't it be cool to have something else happening in the exact same end scene I've already given you in book one.  Skimmed through it.  It just seemed unnecessary, we know who she is.  What she does, it goes without saying she had a serious enjoyment at all the destruction that happened.  Why add pages showing it.  She could've just said it in one sentence.  Or a paragraph in convo with the Jackal inside her would've sorted that whole mess out without all the show.  Sometimes the old adage of show don't tell goes a teeny bit too far.  

Pit.  runs a close second in awesomeness.  I just love him.  What's not to love.  Tall dark, brooding, holding a dark past.  Basically the same as Slyder accept good.  There isn't really much that I can say about him accept he's a man of few words.  Does look before he leaps, and has an uncanny neck of knowing when trouble is brewing.  Very handy in a fantasy world where people are out to get you.

There were a host of new characters, grace and her two companions.  Grace was good, the other two not bad, but neither were they exceptional.  Just okay.  Nym.  I like her more and more with each page.  And everyone's annoying ability to not have faith in her just drives me crazy.  She clearly knows more than all of them combined yet Pit is the only one willing to follow her demands.  And it's obvious she knows the way to what they all need.  She may not be able to verbalise it but shes' very upfront about the fact that she is helping them find something and also looking for something herself.  It's the second book.  At some point the characters need to stop being difficult and accept that she knows what she's doing.  So far she hasn't lead them astray.  Into trouble yes.  But always there was something they needed wherever they went.  She's definitely a brilliant plot moving device, Nym.  I like her name because even though it reminds me of the secret of Nym I never think about that actual story.  In this instance, unlike Slyder, I'm never taken out of the story when I see her name.

If you're following so far basically I'm mostly annoyed with how the characters react to their surroundings, mostly Slyder and the aversions to Nym's whims.  And the Mako.  Tall.  All man.  Power hungry.  And masochist.  I wish I could just once pick up a fantasy book without some sort of man thinking less of woman characters.  The women write them in, the men do, this is why i loved Harry Potter so much, men and women, the same.  It's annoying how they look down to Lillium, i swear this name is from another story i know as well.  The fact I cant remember.  Good.  If i'm wrong, better.  and then at the end when a woman we know to be cunning and good with speech is somewhat looked down on also by a Mako warrior.  Just why why why.  Any now to my biggest problem at hand.

In book one The villain makes seven parts of himself into hunters to get pit.  Then this whole second half, the best part of the book where my fave character Pippa pretty much saved the book.  I was more than frustrated that this was just dropped.  Why even mention it at such a pivotal moment if nothing would be had of it.  Won't go into detail since I already did but yeah.  Still think it shouldn't have been laid on us then dropped.  Suffice it to say that's where this book starts.  At the middle of the last book.  This was a big problem for me.  The last book rounded of well.  Came to completion.  I was okay with it.  In fact I was so okay with it I assumed that these hunters were going to hunt from this point on.  Otherwise why drop it have Pit and all the characters arrive at a certain point if you didn't plan to move forward.  I let my irritation go under the impression the next book was going on from where it left off.  

First the whole thing of how pit ended up in the rat guilds house blah blah blah.  Who cares.  I was perfectly okay with him just being there when pippa and Slyder were there.  How he got there was unimportant only that he was important to the journey was what mattered.  I honestly would've preferred to have this back story in the first book or not at all.  It took away from his mystery.  If it came in spurts during his present, flash back here dream there, i would've appreciated it more instead of being the start of a story leading to the point where we first met him in book one.  Just more tedious stuff.  And then once I realised that whole thing with the hunters that I complained didn't happen in book one was about to well... happen.  I was like seriously.  I picked up this book to go forward.  I had already decided that what I'm about to read was going to happen after where the last book ended and now I feel like I'm doing what I already did during the second half of the last book.  Reading up to the point where they all are on the Island together.  It was like doing the same thing twice accept with a different cast.  I wanted to get into it.  It was so well written, brilliantly.  Nothing bad to say accept I just didn't want to read it.  I wanted to get on with a story that I loved and move forward to the point where book three would pic up.

Why this was a problem for me, technically was flow.  If this was the end half of book one it would've been brilliant.  It would've flowed well, and I would've been concerned about fippa, lillium, and Slyder, because they consumed most of the pages in the first half of the novel.  I would've read all that is in the first half of this novel, waiting for them to arrive and screamed Nooooo, at the end when they didn't and wouldn't have been upset.  Basically because of flow.  The ending was with the creation of the seven hunters I expected to see them go hunt and assumed the other three were off to their deaths.  The looming uncertainty of their demise would've kept me interested in finding out what had happened to them, so at the end of book one when the two separate tales converge I would've been dying to know what the hell happened on the island.  The intrigue would've been there as in my brain I could identify a series of events all fabricated of course, that could've happened that lead to Fippa leaving on a boat and the rest standing on this frozen piece of land mass.  It would've been brilliant to say the least.  Going back in time to do the island scene would've held more weight because it wouldn't have seemed choppy.  Saying you sent people to an island to die and leaving it hanging is a nice cliff hanger.  Creating hunters to hunt and not letting them hunt was like, okay.  I guess it wasn't important.  It just didn't seem to work.

That was my issue with this book.  My biggest issue.  Since it was decided to put the island half in the first book, and this half in the second, i felt I wasn't nearly as interested as I should've been because the set up led me to believe all of this would happen after and not at the same time as what I read.  Where as, as i stated above, if the reverse had happened, I would've known something indeed happened on this island, but what?  As such i would've been more than happy to go back in time and read the events that transpired and how all three characters escaped death.  My biggest technical problem with the first book turned out to affect this one and unfortunately made me think, when are we going to get to the Island and get on with it already.  As such I had the same reaction as the first book.  The second half far outweighed in awesomeness to the first half.  

In actuality though, this book was far more equal.  Had much better flow.  There was no break off that made me think the book should be two separate books.  I just didn't think it made sense to do it the way it was done.  And ultimately decided I thought it was technically a bad decision and it also on a personal enjoyment level ruined the experience for me too.  Again i just couldn't get into it and felt like I was just biding time to get to the point where book one left me.  I really and truly can say that if the end of book one was the beginning of this book and the beginning of this book was the end of book one, I might have given both books a ten.  That's how much I like this author.  With the exception of the ever annoying Slyder, the other characters are all sorts of win.  I just couldn't no matter how I tried like this book as much as the first even though, as I said, the flow was infinitely better.

Would I recommend it.  Hell yes.  It's a good book.  My opinion on a technicality is mines alone and since I can see this book, in theory, is better than the first in overall flow i would be a complete and total moron not to recommend it.  I just had such high hopes for it since I was head over heals in love with the entire second half of book one.  Lets just say disappointment and all, this author can write, very well.  And this book, well it deserves to be read.

Oh and I still have no clue what SomnAgent means.  I'm pretty sure it's just because I'm too stupid to figure it out.  Wouldn't be the first time.

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