Sometimes, after a long day, it’s nice to just sit down and read an epic novel. Usually, these stories end up being about a hero who is revealed to be ‘The Chosen One’, finds out about an Evil Emperor, trains to defeat him, and saves the day through hard work and sacrifice. Of course, this is only entertaining because I don’t have to live it. If the villain is murderous, I don’t have to worry. If the fate of the world is threatened, I can rest assured it is just a story. Jim Hunt has no such assurance.
When he was just a college student having nightmares, it wasn’t so bad. Even when his old mentor told him that he was special, something with unnatural abilities called a ‘Champion’, it wasn’t overly frightening. Unfortunately, in a world of heroes, there are villains to fight. And that creepy guy in Jim’s nightmares? He’s real, and the emails in Jim’s inbox will prove it. Jim may be one of the most powerful Champions in the world, but that just means he is at the top of his enemy’s hit list.
Sound a tad clichéd? It is, but good stories can be built out of common tropes. Unfortunately, while the story itself is good enough, the prose is awful. The dialogue is clunky and awkward (though I will grant that a real college student’s probably would be so) and the plot can meander at times. The story itself takes a while to get off the ground, and when it does it drags its feet until the final climax.
Why then, if this book is so bad, does it garner two stars rather than zero? For the reason that I enjoyed it. Even though the writing was cringe-worthy, I really got into the story once it got off the ground. I found some of the concepts interesting, and Lane’s explanations of ‘superpowers’ was far better than the average ‘accident with toxic waste’ some comic books come up with. I could also sense Lane’s goal with the story. He really wants to tell a fun story which has a point. This story does reflect lessons in self-sacrifice and friendship, as well as forming an interesting start to a series. This story, with a bit of editing, could be a really good one. Through reading this book, I actually learned a lot about editing and how to make a good story. Unfortunately, I learned more through an example of what not to follow. Sadly, this learning tended to damper my enjoyment.
Do I recommend this book as a story? Not really. The story isn’t gripping enough, nor the prose smooth enough, to warrant a recommendation on those grounds. I would recommend it as a way of sharpening one’s grasp of editing for typos and story flow. Sadly, there are probably better ways to learn such things.
Published on 1 May, 2015. Last updated on