The Secrets of Starpoint Mountain Paperback – 15 Oct 2010
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In his author notes it is mentioned that his second book is unpublished, and that the first book was crap. This effort does have merit, as well as significant flaws. On the plus side the story is entertaining.
On the more critical side there remains a considerable amount of copy editing that remains to be done with inappropriate words (sight when slight was intended etc etc. I had thirty examples bookmarked before I stopped. I did not count spelling or punctuation,only word use.). The overall story craft really needs to be tightened in that there is no real effort at world building, and the author tells far more than he shows. Character development is sketchy at best and it feels rushed much like a dungeons and dragons adventure retold. The romance elements are clumsy, neither detailed enough to be titillating nor romantic enough to warm the heart. On the format side I dislike e-books that do not have a table of contents that is linked to the chapters, since I do reread passages.
With a skilled development editor, and a better publisher, this piece of work could be hammered into a real book. The author has talent and should seek out a literary agent and take the next step towards becoming a quality craftsman.
I "purchased" this book for free but will be unlikely to download any sequels at any price.
I liked that humans weren't the ruling/most important race in the book, Giants were. I also liked that the Giants weren't the ruling class through subjugation, they defeated the 'evil' dragons and have lead a more or less peaceful empire since. There are several other usually hated races as well like kobolds and hobgoblins that seem to get along fine with folks.
The Magic 'casting' seemed interesting but wasn't well enough defined for my tastes. There wasn't any effort to really define what it could or couldn't do. Humans aren't good at it, or at least not as good as Giants and the dragons before them. Though there is a group of apparently human "druids" it's unclear if they just have a similar appearance or are humans with druidic gifts. There is some kind of limitation of how often casting can be used in that they mention at times that they don't have any left. The effect for me is that the magic is mostly just available or not depending on whether it's convenient for the story rather than the limitations of the magic system causing hardship for the characters.
There are a few instances in the book where the words seem to be jumbled and it took me out of the story where I had to reread the sentence to pick up the proper meaning. I was able to get back in ok and I don't recall it happening in critical moments so it didn't bother me too much but I know others are bothered more by technical issues like that so I thought I'd mention it.
Parts of how the main villain acted towards the end of the book were a bit of a let down as he didn't seem to live up to his intelligence as noted by a giant lord character earlier in the book or his power as a caster. Don't really want to go into specifics here due to spoilers but you can check good reads since they have spoiler tags I was able to put the info in there if you're really interested.
Overall I did enjoy the book, just felt there is room for improvement. I see there is a second book in the sequel I'll probably check it out at some point when my To Read list thins out a bit more.
I received this book as a gift and had an enormous amount of fun reading it. I hadn't read a fantasy novel in such a long time and this certainly rekindled my interest in the genre as a whole!
"The Secrets of Starpoint Mountain" has quite a lot going for it, namely in the form of its strong and well thought out heroine, Gallif. The reader, along with Gallif, will encounter elves on both sides of the forces of good and evil, skeletons, as well as the mysterious Giant Lords. Fantasy fans of all ages will find a lot to like about this novel.
I eagerly look forward to the continuation of this series. It will be quite interesting to watch all the characters develop as the story progresses.
Bravo, Monsieur Albert. Bravo!