Path of Ruin: An Epic Fantasy Adventure by Tim Paulson

3.5 Stars – An Interesting Fantasy World

I should have liked this story a lot more than I did. It had an intriguing magic source called veil, a nice blend of magic and technology and an interesting world inhabited by humans, lion children, trolls, weaselmen, ghouls, horrors and with massive stone goliaths brought to life by souls and driven by pilots armed with swords and cannons. I mean I love the sound of all that, it sounds frigging awesome but unfortunately, for me, the story just didn’t deliver on its early promise.

The story starts quite strongly, and the author does a great job of introducing an eclectic cast of characters and I was looking forward to seeing each of them develop as their tales unfolded. The action is fast-paced and the protagonists move relentlessly from one scene to the next and whilst the early chapters held my interest and I was intrigued to see what happened at some point this waned.

Why? Well, after that initial promise, I was not fully invested in the characters. Any of them. I know that sounds a bit harsh and certainly, there was a lot to like about Mia and Henri at the start, but I got more disinclined towards them the more I read. For me, they felt a little bit caricatured and two-dimensional and they did not grow. As well there seemed little cause and effect. When something happens that I would expect to traumatize a character they seem to shrug it off. Or an injury that was debilitating no longer being so hours later, almost as if they never suffered said injury. Some scenes I felt seemed rushed and could have been done with more exposition to create more tension and buildup.

There were a few typos and grammatical errors which for some reason seemed more prevalent in the second half of the book than in the first. This was not a major issue for me, I know this author is an Indie author and overall it was well edited, certainly, there weren’t enough errors to detract too much from the story but it is something that could be tidied up easily with another read through.

There were also elements of the story that just seemed a little contrived and confusing and in some cases unfinished including the ending which I found underwhelming. I know this is just book one and the story will continue in book two so maybe some of those nagging ends will get resolved or explained then but I am not sure this book had enough to hold me.

I would say that whilst this story may not have been for me I suspect many who love this mixed genre of fantasy, adventure and technology might enjoy this book.

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