Falls of Redemption by Justin Sloan — A Review

falls of redemptionFalls of Redemption by Justin Sloan

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

This is okay, but I’m not sure how to categorize it. It’s not really fantasy because no magic or sorcery or mythic beings (unless you count people believing in gods). It’s not really historical fiction because it’s not based on anything real. What do I call this?! Gen fic it is.

Falls of Redemption is like the movies 300 and Troy. It’s set back in what feels like Greek times complete with warrior training, war games, and worshiping a pantheon of gods (different ones depending on where people lived, of course).

At the center of it all are two boys, cousins, Lokum and Narcel who are fighting over the same girl, Kaire. She’s beautiful, they both love her, and she loves them back. Then, Narcel is captured by a warrior society called the Mawtu and trained in their ways. When the Mawtu bring war to Narcel’s hometown, he is forced to make a decision: does he belong with his real family in Valhia or his new Mawtu brothers?

300_(film)

This is a decent novel if you like this ancient time period. It has descriptions of warrior societies and battles, and there is plenty of scene description and backstory so you can really sink into the world.

I think what I’m missing is a focus on the stakes. I enjoyed reading about Narcel’s time with the Mawtu, but his devotion seemed wishy-washy from the start. Valhia or Mawtu? The Mawtu didn’t brain wash him enough to truly be one of them, but neither did his family have his complete devotion. I’m not sure that’s wholly believable. So, stake number 1: where do Narcel’s true loyalties lie?

And then there is Kaire. What a bundle of contradictions wrapped in an enigma. Here is this beautiful slave-turned-free girl at the center of a twisted love triangle between two cousins — so, you know, a huge focus of the whole book — and I still don’t know anything about her. Other than that she is beautiful. Yawn. Stake number 2: who gets to own the pretty girl?

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THEN, Narcel goes on a completely DIFFERENT adventure in the last quarter of the book. What is still his main focus? You guessed it — a pretty girl. Stake number 3: does Marcel get to end up with a pretty girl?

Maybe others won’t be bothered by these different, yet related, goals in the book. But for me, none of them felt compelling enough on their own, and somehow, together, they worked against each other.

Last complaint, and it’s one you guys have heard me go on and on about ad nauseum — editing. The first 60ish% of the book was okay. A few mistakes, no big deal. The last 40ish% was riddled with errors, and that really took away from the story.

Still, an okay read. Good for lazy summer afternoons.

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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