Friday, 15 April 2016

Book Review: As I Wake by Ivan Amberlake (The Beholder #0.5)


He wasn’t supposed to survive. But he did. Now the Dark Ones are after him.

As I Wake (and See the World) is the prequel to The Beholder, a fast-paced action-packed fantasy series that introduces the readers to a world of the Sighted, a select group of people who have paranormal powers, abilities, and gifts.


My Review:
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

As a disclaimer before I start this review, I want to point out that this series is not the kind that I would normally read and in the last year or so I have pretty much stopped reading books with sci-fi fantasy elements. I have, however, read the first two full length novels in the series previously, which is the reason that I agreed to read this one. This is actually a 2.5 star book as I prefered the novels to this but I rated it at three stars for Goodreads purposes because it is certainly not a 2 star book!

OK, we start with a boy/man with injuries that he can't remember and complete amnesia. Even the reader knows nothing about who he is or what has happened to him but as he checks his surroundings it becomes clear that he has been involved in a fatal accident. Eventually, he meets Emily, who rescues him and tries to explain what he is and what is happening to him. I don't want to say anything about plot because if I say any more, it will tell you the whole story.

As usual, the author is excellent with words and description but I expect no less from him, having read his novels. Even if you don't like the story, you could appreciate the way that it has been written. The other good thing is that it gives fans of a particular character in the series a chance to see how he met Emily.

I would say that this is a prequel for people who have already read at least book one and know of Emily's abilities, who Pariah is and who this amnesiac character is. I think readers who are totally new to the series might find it frustrating that Emily is slow to explain things. This is an issue I have with Emily throughout the series. And for a new reader who is not into sci-fi, the Edinburgh street scene before they go to the mansion might leave them somewhat confused as to what is happening.

I didn't really feel that this prequel explained what the series was about, which is what I expected, or set the scene for what is coming in book one. Emily as usual is so vague about everything-the prophecy, brief mention of The Beholder, their powers, Pariah etc so I'm not sure what a reader who is totally new to the series would make of it. Some might well wonder why there is not more about these things so they know what is happening before going to book one. As I said previously, I feel it is going to work more for readers who already know the characters and what the first book The Beholder is about.

I recommend it for those already reading the series.
 

2.5 stars.

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