Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Legends of Amun Ra-The Emerald Tablet by Joshua Silverman

About the book
Title: Legends of Amun Ra-The Emerald Tablet
Author: Joshua Silverman
Publisher: Enchanted Forest Press
Pages: 408
Release date: Sept 15, 2012
Where I got the book: Free from the author in exchange for a honest review

Leoros doesn't have many friends. As the son of a scientist and archaeologist  he is constantly on the move. When his parents discover the mythic Emerald Tablet in an ancient city buried beneath Egypt’s desert sands, his world is suddenly turned upside down. He decodes the ancient text which leads him to a distant world. 

On that world, a slave girl begins a journey towards a destiny she cannot imagine. But when an ancient foe rises from the ashes, they will be brought together by forces that neither understands. 

Leoros, who dreams of being like the heroes in the comic books, must fight to unlock the secrets of the universe to save a people he never knew existed. 

Atlantia, whose bloody visions wake her in the night, senses the darkness coming. 

Together, they will face an enemy with the power of dark energy, lose a mentor to the assassin’s blade, and be betrayed by someone they trust. Their fight for the future is just beginning, and before it is over, a final sacrifice must be made. When the darkness comes, will they stand and fight or will they join it? 

There is darkness in everyone.

Do you wish you could have the power of a god? Would you use it for good…or for evil?

Silverman combines spiritual alchemy, Greek mythology, Egyptian gods and culture to produce a science fiction fantasy series that, once you start reading, you just can't put down. His knowledge of Egyptian culture and history is meticulously portrayed throughout Legends of Amun Ra - The Emerald Tablet. This is a must read for any sci-fi fantasy reader. You will instantly become a Silverman fan.

My review
First, I need to say that epic fantasy is my least favorite genre. Somehow I got the impression that this was more science fiction than fantasy, so when I started reading, it took me a long time to get into the story. Some of the issues I had with the book may be genre issues, so I wanted to be sure to mention that I don't usually read epic fantasy.

The plot is great. Leoros and Atlantia are trying to save the world while dealing with war, death, and betrayal. Silverman did a great job with his world-building. I could see the PAVs zipping around the skies and crystal highways, and I could feel the cold when Atlantia was on the Plateau. I actually cared about the characters, too, which is always the sign of a good story. Even the dialogue was realistic and believable, which is a big deal with me.

I'm not sure the sex scenes were integral to the story, but most of my complaints about the book probably come down to editing and proofreading. The book switches tenses in a few places (mid-sentence in one case) and switches POV in the middle of paragraphs. The descriptions of places were a little dry and more "tell" than "show", but the descriptions of the action were great. I'm not sure why we needed to hear every aspect of the story from every character. Maybe that's one of those genre-specific issues I mentioned, but it's annoying, repetitive, and makes the book much longer than it needs to be.

Speaking of repetitive, how many times must we be told that Shirin moves like a dancer when she's fighting?

This is the first of seven books in the series, and it's going to be one of those series that you will have to read completely through to get answers. I don't want to give too much away, but one of the main points reiterated throughout the story was never actually addressed at the end, and, in fact, the end is completely counter to what we learn throughout the rest of the book.

If I were rating this book, I'd give it three stars, and most of the issues could be cleared up with a good edit and proofread. It is a good story, with a good message, and if you like epic fantasy, you'd probably enjoy the story.

"If you believe in yourself, you have the power to change the world." - Joshua Silverman, Legends of Amun Ra - The Emerald Tablet

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