Monday, May 9, 2011

Reviewing a Fellow Indie

I thought I'd take this time to review a fellow Indie author.  I recently had the pleasure of reading The Bakkian Chronicles: The Prophecy by Jeffrey Poole.  It's a decent debut with its share of flaws, but overall, it's a good read.  I give it a 3.8 out of five (4 out of 5 at Amazon).  Here's the review I posted on Amazon:

The first book of the Bakkian Chronicles is what you call a good start.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and Poole does a decent job of worldbuilding. One thing that first time fantasy authors often miss is making the rules of magic and the universe they create internally consistent.  But Poole's world of Lentari has a well-planned, thought out system of magic.  The rules of magic on Lentari remind me in a lot of ways of the rules for Piers Anthony's Xanth novels (every person has a magical gift, and only one gift, at varying levels of power), but he adds the further twist of being able to use magical artifacts to increase the strength of those gifts.  It's a fairly well structured idea, and it works very well in the context of this story.

Steve and Sarah, our protagonists, are a likeable couple, and though I thought they might have adapted rather quickly to their newfound circumstances, they are also very consistent throughout.  They're definitely a committed couple, with no internal conflict between them, and mesh well in their journeys in Lentari.

As with any novel, particularly a debut, there are a few issues, but nothing that would cause me to not recommend this book.  The author has a tendency to head-hop within some scenes, switching POV to ancillary characters to illustrate some minor points. While this can potentially be distracting, it's not enough to take away from the delight and wonder our main characters experience throughout the story. 

Another thing that struck me was in the dialog of some of the characters.  At times, Lentari folk seemed to speak with decidedly modern, even American, expressions, while on the flip side, our two protagonists occasionally adopted what felt like an oddly formal tone. Strangely enough, I'm reading a Stepehen King novel right now as well, and he tends to do the same thing with contemporary characters... dropping contractions in spots where it seems too formal.  Again, these things are minor, and can be overlooked for a story that catches the imagination.

To sum up, I enjoyed this story. While it could use a light coat of polish, the few inconsistencies in POV and occasional lapses of dialog don't really take much away.  The story itself, and world of Lentari, are worth taking time to get to know. I give this one 4 stars, and would definitely recommend it.


  1. Always interesting seeing my favorite indie author review my second favorite indie book.

    I rated The Prophecy about one point higher than you did (5/5 on Amazon and 4.8/5 in my personal thoughts) but can understand your reasons behind it.

    Anyways, it's cool to see your review. It was well thought up, and lacks the curve-type grading scale that many indies seem to grade their peers on.

    Great job!

  2. Just wanted to let you know I posted a review for your book on my blog today. Looking forward to book 2 for sure.