Neil Shooter grew up in northern England and now lives in a quiet suburban corner of Ontario, Canada. Always a slow learner, it has taken Neil most of his adult life to realize that the one thing that never fails to ground him and make him happy is the thing he should be doing with the rest of his life. Better late than never...
This collection is an Annual, a review of my writing life in 2013, including all short stories published in 2013, interviews, blurbs, some gems out of my Vault, and excerpts of some of the things that are coming soon!
His eyes are filled with recognition even though they have never met. She knows it's not possible, but it's happening anyway. It makes no sense, and yet it is real. They shared a dream, but how much of it will come true?
A dream of desolation and death. A nightmare vision of a looming end, surrounded by hidden enemies and desperate strangers.
His love taken. His hope lost. His life forfeit because of his failures, his inadequacies.
How can this end be a beginning? And how can a dream seem so real?
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Valus the hero is locked in mortal combat with the villain Junai in the opening scene of the story, and then we find out gradually the events that led to the final confrontation. I understood why the climactic scene was at the beginning of the story, as a hook, but it worked much better near the end where it was supposed to be.
I thought there was too much background in the early part of the story, and while it is important to set the scene, this could perhaps have been tucked into other scenes or dialogue for a smoother flowing story.
I'm a stickler for words and names, and the story is full of named characters. Most of the names fell a bit flat for me, but the words that appealed to me the most were Shendari, Bharuk, Jaladar, Iluan, Mar'del, and Kaldun. Many names appeared only once, as surnames to peripheral characters, so that much of the detail seemed unnecessary. I was sad that I couldn't tell the race of the characters from their names, which made it seem that they all shared a common culture or heritage, even though they were elves, dwarves and humans.
And I have to mention that there were a number of small errors, from typos to improper use of words, to the utterly disorienting use of the word "ok" in dialogue, which completely pulled me out of the story.
Despite the problems, the plot was nicely put together, and the lead up to the next instalment was interesting. I just can't help feeling that with a bit of an edit and some proofreading I would have enjoyed this much more than I did.