Book Review: The Sea of Storms : Lodestone Book 1 by Mark Whiteway
Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd
Writing Style - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
This work, from start to finish, is of a very high standard. The structure of the writing and the flow of the story is excellent and it pulled me along very nicely indeed. Certainly one of the best examples of literary work I have seen in a while.
Character Development - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
The characters that form the hub of the story are brilliantly drawn. Everything from the `conflicted' Keris, to the humorous Alondo, Boxx - the creature you can't help liking, the judgemental and seemingly revenge-driven Shann, and the former revolutionary leader, Lyall; each have their positive and negatives which cause a variety of understandable tensions throughout the group as they come together and progress on this journey. In the background, other characters come and go, and the author gives early insight into the methods of the opposition forces, giving no quarter to the importance of the supporting characters. Throughout the book you learn huge amounts about the main characters, and more than enough about the one who seeks to stop them, Sacceth.
Descriptive - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
Everything about this world and its environments is described in exquisite detail. Despite the fact that this is an entirely fictional world, the author works hard to make everything from the three suns in the heavens, to the volcanic fire-pits and the line of storms across the sea, into a realistic and tangible element within the story. The sights and sounds are expertly conveyed and even the simplest of actions and emotions from the characters can be felt through the writing.
Language & Grammar - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
Along with the excellent writing, the author's use and understanding of language throughout this book are of an equally high standard. Admittedly, I did find the occasional word where I thought "Oops! Okay, I know what that means, but is it perhaps a little too much for an average reader!?"
There were also a very small handful of instances where punctuation could have done with a minor tweak, but in honesty, these were minimal instances which are easily missed and very quickly forgotten. Overall, they had no effect on the quality of this work.
Plot - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding) *SPOILERS*
Personally, I thought this story-line, with all its intricate sub-plots, was absolutely superb! First off, we meet the Kelanni. A non-human race with very human traits and a religious bent towards worship of their three suns. Admittedly, I was a little confused as to the opening chapter and the Kelanni called Kal, who finds a `flying stone' but then vanishes into obscurity for the remainder of the book. Although this section lays a great deal of background information on the race and the world they live in, it seemed to offer little other purpose. Soon however, the main characters begin to take their places within the tale and the plots that will build towards the crescendo at the end of this part of the series, begin to take shape. The traditional `few against the many' heroic storyline is quickly thrown a nice twist, as you realise that the `few' are actually trying to save the `many', along with the rest of their race, and with the aid of a forest-dwelling creature called Boxx, and a communication device that allows them to speak with their people in a distant past, they embark on a mission that none of them are really certain they can survive. All the way through, there is suspicion and accusation, and in the wake of our heroes' passage, lives are lost to those in pursuit. Even as this tale draws to its conclusion, there seems to be no let-up in the obstacles thrown in the path of our intrepid band.
General - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking forward to reading the next part. I picked this up and it sat on my `To-Be-Read' list, almost continually being shunted down by my promises to read other material. This was worth the wait, and I regret not reading it many weeks ago when I first picked it up.
If you are an adventure lover who errs on the side of fantasy books, this is definitely one for you. If you like the action and intrigue of a well-rounded quest... likewise, you have to give this a try.
Five Stars, and worthy of each of them!