Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Susurrus Review

By: B. Morris Allen

No evil sorceress is born evil.
Iskra wants magic and a home, but her magic keeps killing the people she loves. Just when happiness is finally with in her grasp, another wizard intervenes. Now, she needs to choose: rebuild her life again, or channel her destructive power into bloody revenge.

I received this Advanced Readers Edition in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start by saying, oh Lordy, was this ever a long book! Over 600 pages!! And unfortunately, it felt just as long (if not longer!) than the page numbers lead one to believe. I have to give the author credit, his writing is very good. It's descriptive enough to really give the reader a sense of exactly what he is talking about, but on the flip side, there was a lot of unnecessary description that just prolonged the book further and offered no real merit to the story.

My first misgiving with Susurrus was that by the time I had read the first 50 pages, I realized that I was really no further ahead in the story. All that had really happened was that Iskra's father died and she was walking somewhere with a magician. And it was a very detailed walk, much more so than the death of her father. At least a couple chapters worth. It was excessive which made for a dry read, and I had to force myself to keep reading because at some point they had to reach their destination and then something interesting was bound to happen......right?

Wrong. They reached their destination and from there everything happened so quickly I was overwhelmed and had to take a break from reading. Literally. I went  a whole day without reading anything to try to orient myself with the new direction of the book. When I got back to it, there were many times that I had to pause or reread what I had already read, in an attempt to try to catch myself up to yet another new climate. There were may times that Iskra had life changing cliff hangers and in the next paragraph (within the same chapter) her life would be completely different and time had advanced months/years. It was very disorienting to read.

The character of Iskra herself began well enough, as a child she wasn't complex and seemed to experience things and feelings as a normal child would. Very quickly she lost her human component and became very cold and unfeeling and with that my affinity towards her character never grew. Throughout the entire book I did not care what happened to her, she experiences many losses and I didn't feel for her at all, I would not have cared if she had died. Actually I may have been relieved because then the book could have ended sooner. Even at the very end when she experienced some sort of emotional awakening I felt nothing but bored.

The one thing that I really enjoyed about the book was the setting. I was intrigued by the idea of a magical world that had different types of magic in every city. It was interesting to read about them and to find out who could possess them and how they worked. It was an interesting draw back for each place that their types of magic only extended as far as their city's borders. It was also interesting to me to see how Iskra could hold each places magic in her to call upon whenever she wanted, although I never quite understood why she was the only one to harness this type of power; it was mildly entertaining to see how she could put each place's magic into use for her own design.

Overall the book was long and dull and the characters all seemed to have the emotional range of a pebble. I may have liked it better if the author hadn't time-hopped so much, or glossed over events that should have been catastrophic to the main character.

Final Rating:
Probability of Rereading:

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

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