80AD - The Jewel of Asgard (Book 1)
on May 24, 2012
[comment relates to the whole series] Wow, what a story. I thought this might be good for my son (13) and read it myself (51). Certainly not just for young adults/teens. A very well written series, the writing style is excellent, editing is good (I spotted perhaps 5 places in the whole series where the odd word was missing), and the series shows evidence of a reasonable amount of background research (enough that it could be used as a primer for several mythologies - Norse in particular).
Anybody who liked Dave Duncans Seventh Sword series is sure to enjoy this.
My only adverse comment is that perhaps it would have been better if the starting age of the main players was more like 16 give the adult-like thoughts and actions they were given within the series, but hey, its fantasy!
Gripping right through to the very last page. I couldn't put the last book down. Well done Aiki - surely you should be charging for these!
From the Eyes of a Juror
on Dec. 05, 2012
Overall a great story, but suffers from some aspects of the writing style. Were it not for these I would have rated it 4 stars at least.
At the very beginning of the book I felt that the author was artificially making extra long sentences, connecting clauses together with commas, seemingly suggesting that short sentences aren't what a good writer produces, making the prose uncomfortable to read, this sencence being an example of the style. Luckily either I got used to it, or more likely that was actually forced and the author eventually settled back to his normal style. However this wasn't my major gripe. No, there is probablt a name for the mechanis, but the author loved repetitive sentences. Often, to make a point, he would write multiple sencences starting with the same phrase, as in the following example from p442
Of course whether everything was truly going th be alright...
Whether everything was truly going to be alright perhaps in the end depends...
Whether everything was truly going to be alright perhaps in the end...
Whether everything was truly going to be alright perhaps in the end...
Or in the following example (from p833)
Newlan realized it...
Newlan also recognized the fact ... [cliche].
He appreciated the old adage... [another cliche].
He was quite cognizant of the fact... [another cliche].
He understood better than anyone... [another cliche].
He was well aware... [another cliche].
[end of chapter]
Now in some circumstances this is probably a perfectly valid way of emplasising a point, but I would estimate that the mechanism is [over]used 50+ times in the book, so much so that about the middle it almost made me give up, but by that time I was hooked on the "whodunnit" nature of the story and had to continue - but with more skipping of sections when I saw yet another example of this annoying repetition.
Apart from this cmplaint the editing seemed quite good. There were a couple of sentences that didn't make sense and seemed to be missing a keyword, but probably less than 5 instances, and similarly some but very few instances of incorrect words (to instead of too for instance).
Other aspects of the writing I did enjoy, such as the occasional chatty note directed at "the dear reader".
Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep: Book 1)
on July 21, 2013
A brilliantly written series. Perhaps not my normal fare, but very glad I read it and happy to pay for the subsequent books. I look forward to what might follow Daisy's War. Enjoyable writing style, quite subtle in places. There are a few characters you will love in the series, and a few you will want to throttle! But all are portrayed well. Well edited, I don't think I spotted even one mistake. Would make a great TV series!
Half Brains, Sacred Water book 1
on April 08, 2014
I have struggled with how to rate this series. On the whole I enjoyed it, and so have given it a positive score, but like Heidi I did struggle with the writing style.
The storyline, characters and some of the issues and prejudices covered are very good, and by the end of the series the major characters have been developed pretty well. There is plenty of action, which is for the most part beleivable, and the scientific tidbits (hyperthyroidism, gunpowder, steam cannons, various medical operations - including their effect on bystanders! ) are also sufficiently accurate.
The writing style clearly shows that the author is a science rather than english major. Sometimes it reads more like a documentary rather than a novel. Also there are some editing issues (for example 'princes' rather than 'princess' and 'of' instead of 'off') but generally ones own brain corrects these on the fly.
Also, this is a fantasy book, not science fiction.
And for the interested readers, Iodine deficiency can cause goitre, hypothoiroidism, and cretinisim, involving both physical and mental retardation. So symptoms shown in the book are accurate in that respect.
I was a bit disappointed though in the importance placed on simple iodine in the book. I know it was critical to the plot (and close to the authors experience), but it is only one of many such critical elements/compounds, and it was a bit unreal that all societies understood and placed great importance on the need for iodine but for example would happily go on long sea voyages without fresh fruit and suffer no consequences.
While I appreciate the attempt to show different language behaviour I found that the constant generation of negative constructs by simply placing the word "not" after the verb (and in many cases after a phrase) made these sections difficult to read (I suspect especially so for younger readers). At times it was difficult to determine what the 'not' was referring. Here is an example from book 3. "He should take not such a great risk". He means "should not take" but it could easily be read as "not such a great risk". With multiple languages used by the characters within the book there was scope for some variation in speech to show which language was being used, rather than simply one size (which is different than our english) fits all.
On the whole though, I found it to be an enjoyable series.
By Fickle Winds Blown
on Nov. 18, 2014
An enjoyable read. While complete in its own right, clearly there is a possibility for the story to continue. I hope so.
on Jan. 26, 2015
Excellent series. Perhaps a little complex for too young a reader, maybe early teen as a minimum, but certainly no maximum reader age! Pushes David Wighton to one of my all time favourite authors on Smashwords. Sci-fi is used cleverly as a framework in which to present the real story about people and their relationships. In fact a cleverly disguised young persons guide to relationships that they will want to keep reading, even if they are learning something! Probably not for the die hard sci-fi fanatic as it includes humour, romance, and much thought-provoking dialog. Even a funny section describing the young teen 'hand-holding' protocol. I also enjoyed the author's cameo appearance.
on Feb. 18, 2015
A great gripping story, interesting characters with amusing interplay. Some very good dialog.
However... Seriously let down by the lack of or poor editing. Many many errors! Wrong words ('loose' instead of 'lose' probably the most common, 'worst' instead of 'worse', 'too' instead of 'to'), mixed tense in the one sentence, wrong verb form, wrong tense etc etc. (e.g 'lets met up with the others' [lets meet], 'I learn a few things this week-end' [I learned/learn], 'she bitted her lips' [she bit], 'Came Monday she tried' [Come Monday]... 'Dead found them' [Death found them], 'Blood thicken by the heat' [thickened by], 'You get to met the' [get to meet] etc etc
Properly cleaned up it would make a really good book.
on June 16, 2015
I think it is fair to warn potential readers that the subject matter of this book is very very dark. Human depravity at its worst. Long term kidnapping, trafficking and sadism. Not all will enjoy. I personally found it uncomfortable to read, although like all good thrillers I HAD to read to the end to find out how it ended.
That being said the book was written well, characters well developed, writing style good. One or two mis-edits but not major.
Sunlit Shadow Dance
on July 21, 2015
Crocodile Spirit Dreaming is a very powerful and emotive story. Very well worth reading, and hard to read and keep the eyes dry!
However, this particular book seemed to contain more editing mistakes than the others and in some ways it felt a bit rushed (to get to publication).
The Dragon Lady of Hamilton High
on Aug. 02, 2015
Gave me sore eyes because I couldn't put the book down! Gripping, with plenty of twists, some expected, some not.
Lead character is perhaps too good at too many things: academic, sporting and artistic. Enjoyed the variety of dragons and how they linked into the story. Also the subtle link between the art portfolio and her relationship with Tony (or maybe I read too much into that).
There is a flaw in the epub version where about 10 or so pages around page 200 have a reduced font size. Would be worth cleaning this up. Otherwise pretty clean, editing-wise.
Maddy's a Baddy
on Sep. 30, 2015
Another excellent book in the series, and I've very glad there wasn't too much wait after the previous book!
I would say that a lot of the humour would probably not be understood by younger readers. You often have to "insert life experience" to understand the jokes.
A better balance of activities (not so much on the go) in this book from the last made it far easier to follow.
Nary, Nary, Quite Contrary
on Sep. 30, 2015
David continues to produce excellent reading material and I am very grateful. Could be because its been a while since I read the earlier series, but the family is now large, and there is a sub-story for most. I found this one a bit too busy.
Make sure that you have the next book available so you can get past the cliffhanger at the end!
Writing style is excellent as we have come to expect.
The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club - Book One
on Sep. 01, 2016
A most enjoyable read. Engaging characters, well written and edited, decent plot, and paced fast enough that it was hard to put down.
Dont be put off by the "part 1", while the characters may continue into further stories, the main plots of this story are sufficiently well ended. Thanks for making it available.