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on March 07, 2013 :
An unexpectedly delightful read!
So, I went in to reading this particular book (Slayer and the Sphinx) with the mindset that I wasn’t in the mood for a YA novel right now. I just got done reading and reviewing one and, to be quite honest, the plethora that is currently bogging down the market has me kinda set against them.
So it was that I started reading The Slayer and the Sphinx with a closed, perhaps even antagonistic viewpoint.
So it was that the writer was able to surmount such a start – certainly there are aspects of the story that one must stretch one’s imagination when it comes to believability and character interaction (SPOILER: I hate any and all amnesia stories, especially my own), but what do you expect? This is a freakin’ YA novel.
The action is fair, the background and environments are fairly well-written, and the worldbuilding is kinda impressive. With ALL THAT stated, I find that it’s the honesty of the quest itself that impresses me, and while the situation itself may be slightly forced it’s what the characters DO with it that kept me reading, even after I was ready to hurl my smartphone into the fire during that first chapter.
NOW, a powerful con in my book - using the autospellcheck is all good and gravy, but "wad" and "had" are two different words. This happened at several occasions in my reading of the book, and is exactly why a proofreader can save ya the time of doing it yourself...but even if you HAVE to do it yourself, at least it gets done. :3 Despite the VERY few instances this happened, the read was still groovy.
Did you see what I did there? Yup. I meant to do that though...
Yeap, S&S gets a solid 4/5. I WOULD have rated it a 3/5, except the story…man, the story IS pretty good! Good enough that I’m going to get my hands on the sequel (ugh, sequel hook) once I hear that it’s out and, to be quite honest, so should you. :3
~Thomas Duder, Author of the Things
(reviewed long after purchase)
on March 07, 2013 :
The Slayer and the Sphinx is a nice story, short, listed as a novel but the length would make me consider it a novella. It took me less than a day to read, the pacing quick and the prose very easy to get into and flowed really well.
The style reminds me of the classic children’s stories, not patronizing to the young readers, but not above their heads. For the first in this series, I found it to be pretty well done. I liked the characters, they were strong, well fleshed out and there was enough foreshadowing to keep you interested until the next book comes out.
My critiques are that first and foremost, the chapters are often too short. There were plenty of times where the chapters could have been combined into one, and scene breaks could have been used. It was a little jarring to switch chapters after just a few paragraphs.
Also the formatting for the kindle made it difficult to read. Now, being a self-pub author I know how difficult formatting can be for kindle, and the bonus is on the device you can adjust a lot of the formatting for yourself. However, I did have trouble as there didn’t seem to be page breaks used and the chapters were just jammed together which took away from the aesthetics of the book. I imagine in the paperback version that isn’t an issue, since I know formatting is very different between the two, but some adjustments could be made. I also didn’t like the use of as scene breaks. It was a little rough and distracting. Again, these are superficial things, so it shouldn’t take enjoyment out of reading the book itself.
I’m giving the book a three stars, and I definitely think that Bolander is on to something with this book. I would definitely read his other works, and keep my eye out as this series continues.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Feb. 04, 2013 :
The Slayer and the Sphinx was given to me by Adam Bolander in exchange for an honest review.
I am not sure what I expected of this book, but I got so much more! This is an excellent book, which would be great for Middle and High School students. Young Adults, even older adults, would enjoy it!
Porter was sent to kill a family of Mythics. He did not succeed. But what happened to him and to Sarah, the sphinx he had been sent to kill, could never have been planned! They find out that they must rely on each other to stay alive!
I liked this story because it is well-written, and suspenseful. The action began almost from the first word and did not stop until the end.
This story of enemies turned friends is a must-read for everyone!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Mary C. Findley
on Aug. 17, 2012 :
WARNING! This book has a cliffhanger! It's actually the first in a series, a fantasy following the adventures of a boy living in bitterness against "Mythics," creatures we think of as belonging in mythology and fairy tales, but which are real in his world. Porter has been trained, along with others, to kill on sight any of these "monsters." Sarah, by virtue of being a sphinx, falls into that category for Porter.
The theme of the book, "Who really is a monster?" is very well done. It's not just a war between humans and fantastic creatures. It's about digging down inside you and being the right person yourself, no matter what kind of craziness surrounds you. Bolander pays tribute to classic fantasy fiction. Video gamers will find he has given props to elements they love, too.
The descriptions are pretty sparse and it was hard at times to "see" where Porter and Sarah were going and what they were experiencing. Otherwise it was a well-told story and I believe Bolander's tale will grow stronger in future installments and will continue to please fans of the fantasy genre.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Aug. 11, 2012 :
The Slayer and the Sphinx is one of those books which keeps surprising you. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading, but when the main character almost immediately got embroiled in a fight with a homeless girl for no apparent reason, I became intrigued. Turns out she was a monster in disguise, and he was sworn to hunt down and destroy such things.
The likable and realistic characters are a large part of what makes this story work so well. I think Porter (the main character) is sometimes unintentionally funny when he doesn't really mean to be, partly because he has such a theatrical streak at times. But he's also noble of heart, and I think that combination is part of what makes him so endearing. Sarah, the other main character, sometimes acts like a spoiled rich girl (which, of course, she is), but then other times she shows a level of compassion and curiosity about the world which we don't normally associate with that type of girl. Those kinds of internal contrasts make both main characters fascinating as individuals.
There were a lot of other things to like about this book; plenty of action, some good sword-play, interesting storyline, and vivid descriptive language. I read it straight through in one sitting and really would have liked to go on to Book Two immediately if it hadn't been way past bedtime already.
As for the bad? Well, not much, really. I thought the use of Elvish language in one chapter detracted from the story a bit at that point. Most of us have had the experience of standing awkwardly while other people hold a conversation in a foreign language we don't understand, and that's what that particular scene reminded me of. There were a few other minor issues like that, but nothing which kept me from enjoying the story.
I would consider the book to be in the young adult category, but I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who likes a good action-adventure story of the modern-fantasy type. It won't disappoint you!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on June 20, 2012 :
The Slayer and the Sphinx by Adam Bolander
Too young to travel with her parents Sarah is left at home with the maid Mrs Rasta. During the evening they hear a loud noise, rushing to see where it came from they find themselves under attack by the slayers. Sarah unable to fight well, watches as the slayers kill Mrs Rasta and in an attempt to save herself she teleports to safety accidentally taking Porter; one of the slayers, with her. The pair are lost and confused but soon learn if they are to survive they are going to have to go against all they have ever known and help each other.
The Slayer and the Sphinx is a mostly well written, imaginative read. Written from various POV’s it is sometimes a little repetitive as we get to see the same situation from different people. The protagonists are well developed and likable, even Porter with his many past misdemeanours manages to win over the hearts of the readers with his new direction. Clearly from how the book ends this is the beginning of a series and I think this instalment is a good introduction, taking us into the world of ‘Mythics’ with a balanced mixture of good and evil beings to keep the story moving along at a reasonable pace.
I’m not sure of the age range this book is aimed at, there is action and violence, but not too much so I’m thinking YA or younger, I certainly wouldn’t have any problem with my 11 year old reading this and to be honest I think she would really enjoy it.
Copy supplied for review.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)