Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Novice (Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu ARC Review


2/5 Stars
Details of the Book
eARC, 398 pages (according to Goodreads)
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Synopsis: When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

I had a lot of trouble with this book. It has an interesting premise and in the very beginning I was interested but as the book went on it lost my attention. For most of the book I had to force my way through it. While reading I felt that the author was discovering his plot as he wrote it. I found myself asking, "Why do I need to know this?" or "Why is this important?" My answers for the most part went unanswered. The main thing that bothered me about The Novice is that a lot of its details are dangerously similar to other famous books such as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, with bits of Eragon and Harry Potter. It did pick up in the last third of the book that made me interested in what's going to happen next but not enough for me to recommend reading it.

Strengths/Likes:

1) I liked the whole demon summoning thing. It's was a pretty cool idea. Although it kind of reminded me of Pokemon but I love Pokemon so we're all good.

2) There is nice cliffhanger at the end. It's executed in a way that makes you want to know what's going to happen.

3) The last part of the book, particularly the tournament I found to be interesting. I enjoyed all of the action.

Weaknesses/Dislikes:

1) As I already said, this book had elements that reminded me too much of other famous books that I listed above. I found the book to be very predictable and I think that it's (at least partially) because of how similar it is to other books I have read.

2) It was really slow and I felt a lot of the plot was unnecessary. While reading as I've already mentioned I kept wondering why certain events were important.

3) This book was pretty cheesy. It was very, "Against all odds, we will be victorious!" I mentioned Pokemon before, I mean that level of cheese except not cute.


You can read an excerpt of the book here.

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