The Warden Threat, by D.L. Morrese, is like a Shirley Temple – light, sweet, fun and sparkly. It’s part of a grown-up genre, yet appropriate for all ages. Actually, that said, it’s more of a Dirty Shirley, in that it’s laugh-out-loud funny (and as you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, let’s move on.)
I did catch a few typos and a couple of missing commas, but other than that, the grammar is refreshingly precise and the vocabulary, well, scrumptious. I admit, I had to look one or two words up, but at the same time, it wasn’t a “too-smart-for-its-own-good” book, which I liked.
And as for the bad, that was about it. The characters are believable and well-rounded, although slightly cliche at times. The book avoids all of my major pet peeves. POV is logical, solid, and easily followed. Character motivations are clear and make sense. Descriptions are long enough to be engaging, but short enough to avoid clumsiness or awkwardness. I should make a note here; they are occasionally redundant, like the following passage -
“He approached it slowly, staring up into the stern black face and the cold black eyes that somehow seemed alive.”
- but then you get passages like this little tidbit that make you overjoyed you picked up your kindle in the first place:
“The serving girl began to laugh in the friendly but uncommitted way waitresses do to make customers feel appreciated and more generous when it comes time to leave a tip.”
One of my favorite things in the work were the little “easter eggs” that would make sense later – little pieces of our modern world in the medieval setting. Take, for example, this scene of a messenger learning to read for the first time:
“Grandpa Nash produced another book for her … about a dog named Spot that also seemed to like to run …”
And that’s just it. The whole book is filled with little gems that I just want to quote to you, but I’m quickly coming to the point where it’s no longer me reviewing and more me violating intellectual copyright. So, in order to help you understand the experience of the book, I will leave you with this note. Usually, when I am reviewing a book for my site, I highlight and make little notes as I go, so that I’ll have a lot to say. In this case, I was too busy reading it; I literally read the entire thing straight through in one sitting. \
Aaaa-and it just so happens that the author has agreed to give me a free copy of the sequel, The Warden War, in exchange for another review, so … you know … I gotta go. I’ll, um, call you .. or something.
Overall Score: 4.8 stars. (Seriously.)
The Warden Threat is available from Amazon here, or from Smashwords here, or you can check out the author’s homepage here.
Reviewed for Maria Violante's review site, mariaviolante.com
(reviewed the day of purchase)