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Paul Elard Cooley is a software architect and writer in Houston, Texas. He is an avid open-source advocate and all his writing is done in Emacs at the console. You can find his original fiction at http://shadowpublications.com
on July 11, 2013 :
The sheer scope of the Garaaga's Children series amazes me. Each book only really shares the historical-fiction tag before going outwards and bouncing between a variety of other genres. Some are action, some are horror. Some are slow paced, others quick and brutal. But in spanning something through the ages such as Cooley is, I am starting to understand that this may be a necessity.
'Scrolls' when compared to the previous books in the Garaaga saga is a lot slower paced. Taking place in the library of Alexandria, with most of the characters being scribes and such, the story moves along at an almost sluggish pace when compared to the tales before it. This isn't a bad thing, for it lends itself more of a mystery feel rather than anything else. It collects the previous tales, and weaves them together so that when the next book in the series hits, the storyline can advance easier.
As usual, Cooley's research is outstanding, and I found his personal comment about the history of the time at the end of the story to really put a perspective on the time period he was dealing with. (and the frustration with it as well) As with all the previous stories about Garagga's Children, the amount of details within Scrolls was enjoyable as well as enlightening.
One problem I did have with the story was Herodot residual fear from when he was a child tormented by the other children because he was a Jew. Having just come off of the previous book where Jews were the antagonist, it was a bit weird to have one be the protagonist in this book. However, as Cooley has done time and time again with this series, it shows how time changes the status quo of things. However, the scribe's fear of the dark and the taunts of his childhood didn't really mesh well for me in the storyline, instead feeling tacked on. They don't play a crucial part of the story, nor do they really add anything to the story or to Herodot's character. (not like, say, the constant reminder by his peers that he is a Jew for example)
Still, though more about stringing things together and pushing the storyline further, Scrolls was an enjoyable read that helps to bind all the previous stories together. Cooley's writing is strong as ever, his characters are for the most part realistic and their historical lives are interesting to read about. If you have read the previous books in the series, I suggest you pick this one up. If you haven't, I highly suggest you go back and read them first or 'Scrolls' won't make much sense.
And though this book wasn't my favorite of this series, I still rather enjoyed it, and will continue to get the rest of the series as they come out.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Sep. 02, 2012 :
Set in ancient Egypt, Scrolls is the story of a scribe named Herodot. His life takes a turn for the strange when he begins translating a frightening tale involving a monster that terrorized a village, an ancient god known as Garaaga, and the people who kept the legend alive. What he doesn't yet realize, is that this is no mere legend, Garaaga and his children are real.
This story is equal parts fantasy and mystery. It has an intriguing plot, and is very well written. I highly recommend it.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)