For YA Friday I am reviewing Shadow Swarm by D. Robert Pease. Welcome to anyone that is stopping by as part of the Novel Publicity blog tour. There is a wide offering of prizes up for grabs!
Aberthol Nauile wakes up inside a tomb with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Even more confusing are the people he finds that insist he is a king of legend who has come to save the world. Before he can even digest their beliefs, they are attacked by a swarm of shadow creatures and the people are slaughtered. Aberthol barely makes it out alive with the help of Elise, an acolyte in training.
Elise fills in some of the missing pieces as they flee into the woods, but before they reach safety, Elise is captured and taken to the enemy. Aberthol is on his own, until the words to summon a dragon come unbidden to his mind. With the help of his knew companion, Aberthol brings estranged groups of people/creatures together to fight off the evil threatening their world.
I agreed to review this book based on the blurb that what sent to me. I was intrigued by the idea of waking up in a tomb with no memory and being forced to assume the role of savior. As I read the book the ongoing mystery of who Aberthol really was pulled me along. He has glimpses of past events in history and also begins to develop healing powers. I enjoy this kind of story and love to figure out mysteries.
The character himself left something to be desired.I understand he has amnesia, but the lack of early character development was lacking and I didn't grow invested in him. I did become invested in the people he was working with, which is why I wanted to find out how he would help them. His age is not clearly given, but from what I gathered he is between 17 and 20. The problem was that as I read it seemed as if he was a man in his thirties. Plus, the reader is asked to believe that he fell into an eternal love with Elise when we barely have anytime to see the two of them together.
Just one other thing, the author falls into the trap of using really hard to figure out and pronounce names for his fantasy characters. This really pulls you out of the story and makes you stumble. Plus, it's hard to keep characters straight.
Overall I applaud the idea, but it needed more fleshing out. 3 stars.