Although there are elements to this story which any fantasy reader will recognise: a secret world of the supernatural living alongside us, a character..Show More » who is unaware that he is part of this world and who comes to discover his true power and significance thanks to a sometimes reluctant guide, I found this novel to be handled with much originality. I enjoyed the maturity of the characters (a great relief after all the teen-fic and kid-fic we get bombarded with currently) and the detail to the supernatural world and its deft interweaving with our own easily recognisable world. The narration was extremely enjoyable although accents did wander sometimes (quite often they completely walked off, did their own thing and came back a while later well rested occasionally) and I wouldn't hesitate to listen to something else from this narrator, this author or indeed another pairing of the two.
I loved the first book, and this started and ended brilliantly. I loved the last few chapters and It has lined up the next book excellently. The middl..Show More »e got a little lost for me as he investigates a plot unrelated to the main story (which I thought was going to link in, but it didn't really) - however this is definitely a recommendation book from me.
The world Mike Shevdon has created is intriguing and leaves me wanting to know more about the universe and its mystical denizens. H..Show More »owever the key characters are really beginning to rankle! Yes I should have realized that complex characterisation was never an objective when the main character morphed (almost overnight) from a pitiful 42 year old, divorced accountant to an immortal, magic-wielding ninja-fairy, capable of seducing heavenly, orgasm-inducing nymph-babes within hours of meeting them, but... The inconsistency in the behavior of key characters really detracts from the story. Niall may be an ass-kicking superhero, but geez can't he whinge! One minute he's the epitome of calm, devastatingly-cool hero, the next he's a whining sissy who can't get a word in edge ways when his ex wife starts berating him for leaving the toilet seat up (or something). As for Blackbird who swings from all-powerful matriarch to wet lettuce and back (sometimes in the same monologue)... The other characters fade to beige as shallow stereotypes (Sgt. Maj. Garvin, terminally teenage Alex, almost all of the true fairy).
Despite wanting to shout at Niall to just use his nukes in every scene rather than dilly-dallying around like some morally overbearing broken record the books are actually quite fun. I can't wait to listen to the next one!! And Mike... We need a montage. :)
Mike Shevdon has created an engaging universe with intriguing back stories and clever use of historical references. The first two books in he series ..Show More »were really good as he set up the narrative for what I thought would be an epic climax. Alas it appears that he either ran out of enthusiasm or, more likely, the publishers deadlines forced a rushed and frustrating end to the series. In the first half as the characters struggle, not with world-threatening evil, but with mundane, domestic problems. In contrast the final chapters accelerate wildly from the labored, pedestrian pace of the first half to a frenetic, apocalyptic bloodbath in the space of a few pages. The baddies (so scary that the good Fayre use their legend to frighten small children) are put down so easily that one character dispatches 3 of the toughest shades without breaking a sweat. If they were that easy to defeat why bother with the whole exile/barrier thing in the first place? Two further irritations - firstly the incredibly seedy (and completely unnecessary) liaison between two of the characters that, for me, ruins the sense of wonder Mike created in his world. Secondly Niall's eventual fate. After the imaginative plot construction of the earlier books the ending strikes me as just... odd. A shame because I really like the world Mike has created. I sincerely hope he returns to the world he has created in the future. Just not with these characters.