I found out that Red Adept–who is THE Kindle indie book reviewer–was going to review my novella last Saturday. She wrote me to let me know that she would be posting the review on Tuesday, and she sent me a letter that initially had me wondering if it was going to be a bad review, even though it should’ve been obvious that it was a form letter. For example:
“My actual rating in the review is final … While I am happy to listen to any issues you have with my review, please understand that a review is just an opinion, in this case, mine. Therefore, I will not engage in any “debates.”
After thinking about it, I knew it was a form letter, but since this was my first big review by a major reviewer, I felt pretty anxious until Tuesday morning when I woke up and pulled this up on my screen:
I received The Black God’s War: A Novella Introducing a new Epic Fantasy, by Moses Siregar III, as a Review Copy from the author.
Description: Set in the middle of a ten-year war, this novella is the story of Lucia, who is being tempted by the “Black God” and her brother, the savior of her people.
Overall: 5 Stars
Plot/Storyline: 4 3/4 Stars
I enjoyed this novella from its opening chapter to its gripping end, which left me wanting more, as all good stories do. As just a fantasy tale, it provided plenty of entertainment. However, I found further enjoyment on another level.
I found this novella to be an interesting metaphor for religion in the ‘real world’, both historical and present. One faction is fighting for the right to worship and follow their own gods, while the other faction is fighting to spread their “religion” (although it’s never called that in the book) and force the first faction into submission. The biggest difference was that in the book, the gods’ existences are undisputed. By that, I mean that no one is saying they don’t exist. They do. They are evident and visit certain people. Therefore, it was more of a war between the gods than a war between people; although it was the people who suffered.
However, it did appear that the people had some free choice. They chose which gods to worship, how to wage war, or even whether to not wage war. The gods didn’t force them, just nudged them a little.
The novella is mainly about Lucia, the main character, her interactions with the black god and her country at war. Upon reading the first chapters with this information, I developed a real empathy for her and her people. Amazingly, the author managed to turn that completely around with just a short section told from the viewpoint of the other faction. I went from empathising with the first faction to being horrified at their actions. What a difference viewpoint can make!
My only criticism stems from the dreams that Lucia experiences. Afterward, she has trouble telling reality from the dreams, but she eventually is able to divine truth. Unfortunately, one dream toward the end is so vivid that I got a bit confused for awhile, making me stumble a bit in the reading process.
Although this is a “prelude” for a future series, I found it to be complete with a satisfying ending. There is even a little romance thrown in for good measure.
Character Development: 5 Stars
For the format, the characters were sufficiently well developed. I assume the author will be developing them further in his first book of the series, but this was a great introduction to them.
I enjoyed Lucia very much. I hope that in the full book more is disclosed regarding her childhood.
Lucia’s brother is the “messiah” of his country. I was treated to a small taste of what he felt about his “calling.” This is another character that would be fun to see developed further.
Writing Style: 5 Stars
The writing style of this novella immediately put me at ease in the setting. The opening chapter is told from the viewpoint of a child, and the voice was perfect. The descriptions were rich and vibrant.
This is Moses again. I also answered some questions at the end of her review.
Thanks, Red Adept, for your very kind review!
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Tags: 5 Star, Red Adept, Reviews