Friday, June 23, 2017
Flight of the Vessel by Robert Clifton Storey Jr.
With a last name like "Storey" what better profession could this guy have possibly gotten than being a writer? Well, that said, let's get right to it. I've had this one hanging around for awhile now since it became available for free on Kindle Unlimited and I've finally gotten a chance to look into it. Was this fantasy epic worth the wait? Let's find out.
Princess Angelterra (as she's so unfortunately named) is forced to flee her kingdom once it is taken over by an enemy kingdom, governed over by an evil sorcerer with a mysterious agenda. Now acting as Princess Regent, she must gather together all the allies she can. This includes a sea-faring prince, a Lady Knight, an old sorcerer, a loyal general and his wife, and many others as she attempts to gather enough forces to retake her kingdom. Little does she know that hers is an even higher purpose, as it seems she's been chosen to be the Vessel of the Infinite Spirit of the Father, and to do his will to bring peace to the world and put an end to this ancient evil.
Okay, I know a lot of people really like this story, so I'm going to be gentle. Right off the bat, I didn't hate this book. At all. I just...might have had a few problems with it. So, good stuff first. The characters in this story are really good. I liked Angelterra. Yeah, she has kind of a silly name but as a character, she's actually really good. She's a great leader, kind, smart and benevolent and you can see why people flock to her and respect her. Jeela, the lady knight, is also a pretty good character. Tough without being too tough, honorable and very loyal and she does a good job conveying the difficulties of being a woman in a male-dominated profession. For all the unusual names, I did manage to remember who was who and what was what, even when the list of characters started piling pretty high.
So, what was my problem with it. Well...first off, it's a pretty long winded book. There are page long paragraphs that can go on and on and on about the backstory, the history, everything that the author could think to mention crammed into every available space. As a result, the pace is disrupted and slows to a crawl. It takes forever to get anywhere in this book. But even when we're in the present and not stuck in an exposition dump, there's a lot of talking and the action is few and far in between. When it picks up, it's interesting enough. There were times when I really wanted to get sucked in and wished I could get into it more but it just never held my attention very long. It took so long to get anywhere that, in all honesty, I had a really hard time finishing this thing. While the characters were good and the ideas were there, there's just so much telling and so little showing that the story never really grabbed me.
Basically, this is another book with a lot of promise but suffered from telling and too much world building, in my opinion. I felt bad that I didn't like it more because the ideas are really there and they really are good. This world has some good ideas in it. I really liked the representation of different ethnicities and they way they were handled with great respect. The laws and set up of the kingdoms was really good and different practices and traditions were interesting, but they didn't need a four page history lesson on each and every one of them, is what I'm saying.
Once again, I'm faced with a book that I honestly wish that I had liked more. Still good, but probably not for me. Still, if it sounds up your alley, check it out but maybe wait for it on paperback.
Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Have a book that you'd like me to review or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me at goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer
Next Time: An anime character like this was just too good to waste....