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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
12
4.3 out of 5 stars


on 7 January 2014
This book feels as though you are reading someone's diary. At the start it seems slow moving, and yet the characters seem real. The emotions they express and the things they do make they seem the sort of people you meet in real life.
This meant by the story really kicked in I had to keep reminding myself that it was only a story. I could feel myself starting to worry what was going to happen to them and wanting to keep them safe.
There is nothing about this book that I disliked. It is well crafted and the plot is brilliant. The way the father's words are interwoven with the story is pure genius.
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on 27 March 2014
I have to agree with a previous reviewer and say I won't be reading the later books in the series, because I just don't care about what happens next. One of the characters in the book says at one point, 'I'm just not sure what we're doing here' (I paraphrase, that's not a direct quote!) and to be honest, I agree with him. it's a book that's just ambling along with no direction or overarching story and it left me with a feeling of 'meh'.

Grammar, spelling, all that sort of thing is good. I regularly read fantasy of all sorts, so the other worlds things isn't throwing me, but the upshot is, I just didn't give a damn about what was happening, what was going to happen or what had happened in the past. Even the Big Reveal thing didn't interest me. I didn't see it coming, but only because I couldn't be bothered looking.

Like the previous reviewer, this book was free to me as well, so I'm not too put out and it obviously appeals to some readers, but not to me.
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on 13 December 2013
I love fantasy books, and have read many over the years. I started off with this one, thinking it was original and interesting, so I settled down for a good read.

Unfortunately, when I got past the halfway mark, the story (for me) took a downturn. I was lost. The characters were in places that I didn't know how they'd got there, they were talking about things that didn't make sense and suddenly there were several different names in the mix, and, to be perfectly honest, I didn't have a clue what anyone was on about. Definitely gobbledegook! Totally and utterly lost!

I gave up reading at this point. A shame, I was thoroughly enjoying the story until it went pear shaped (again, for me). Others might make sense of the latter half of the book and enjoy it, but I shall avoid this author in the future, he's way to wacky for me.
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on 25 February 2014
First off, I'm a massive Stephen King fan. Huge. Except for his gunslinger stories. Don't ask me why, because I honestly don't know but I've never been able to get past the first 50 pages of the first in the sequence. Why is that important? Because S.A.Hunt's work shares many points of reference with Kings Dark Tower. Gunslingers, fantasy setting, heroic figures. Unlike Kings work however, I managed to finish this one. More than that, I enjoyed it.
King has a style that is easy to read, pleasant on the inner ear and provides great skull cinema. Hunt, well, he's not quite there. That being said, how many are? Hunt's work reads fluidly, is entirely internally consistent and has some good ideas buried within it. Not great ideas though, but good ones, decently written well edited and professionally packaged. It was also free. Gratis. No charge. I would have picked this up in a charity shop and risked a few quid on it, which says far more about me than the writer I assure you, and wouldn't have begrudged spending the money. Will I be reading the others in the sequence? No. It didn't grab hold and demand I find out what happens, which, being honest once again, says far more about me and my ambivalence towards the genre. High fantasy and guns just don't work for me. If they work for you then read this book. If you enjoyed the Dark Tower, then read this book. And if you like to pick something up and be surprised by how good self-publishing has the potential to be, then get this book. I promise, you won't be disappointed.
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on 31 December 2013
The novel starts with a death... the death of a man called Ed. At this point, I had no point of reference on which to judge this deed. Ed, described only by the thoughts of the assassin who killed him, simply vanished into thin air when he was shot. I didn't know if Ed's death was a good or bad thing. I didn't know who had killed him or why. The jump to Ed's point of view, where he lands in a stream mortally wounded, cleared up only a small fraction of the mystery and intrigue - He hadn't been on Earth when he was shot...
... and I was hooked.

S. A. Hunt's writing style is bold and dynamic. Mistakes in grammar or formatting are very few. His use of description and simile throughout the novel is incredible. Every location, every deeply original facet of the world he has created has been painted in my mind by his ingenious use of language. Some of the language, I should add, would be unsuitable for younger readers... but the more coarse vocabulary was not overused or wasted, in fact it added to the parts of the story that it was used in; helping to display the raw emotion and the darkness and depravity of the situations.

Throughout the novel, the writing jumps from 1st to third person. It adds an edge to the story, and enables S.A. Hunt to feed us a little extra information occasionally. In the first person, we are privy to the thoughts and experiences of Ross Brigham, a soldier who has just returned home... to find his wife has left him and his father, Ed Brigham, famous author of the Fiddle and the Fire book series, is dead.

Ross Brigham is a complex character, a soldier, artist and writer struggling with everyday human problems and emotions, like self-doubt and loss, while he takes us on an amazing journey through a fantasy realm of strange creatures and Old West style shootouts. In him, I believe, there is an identifiable reflection of every one of us regardless of whoever or wherever we are. Ross is easy to identify with and easy to love.

I don't like giving away spoilers, so that's all you're getting as far as the content goes. Except I must explain one thing, because I find it incredible and it's what makes the book a winner for me. This novel, the story of a bereaved son and his new friends discovering a fantasy world, has been put together with thought and patience. S.A. Hunt has created a novel inside of a novel, with titbits of the work of (fictional) Ed Brigham interspersed. I think perhaps the excerpts are my favourite detail of the novel, not because of content but because they add another layer to the believability of the world.

I know I've enjoyed a book when I struggle to find a negative point to gripe about, but there's one thing I am happy to moan about in this case... talk about leaving me hanging at the end! I'm perhaps guilty of creating my own cliff-hanger, but come on... gah! I need to read the next book; Law of the Wolf.

[...]
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on 11 February 2014
Ross Brigham returns from active duty in the army to the news that his father Ed, an award-winning fantasy author, has died. Not only that, his wife has left him and his life is in a mess. Ross is persuaded by his father’s fans to finish writing the last novel in the gunslinger series.

Going through his father’s things after the funeral Ross comes across a key he can’t find the lock for and an unusual mirror. Both these objects lead Ross and two of his father’s greatest fans, Sawyer and Noreen, into the fantasy world of Destin. There they meet the gunslingers , amongst other much less pleasant people, and are drawn into conspiracies and schemes they don’t, at first, understand. What the three of them learn on their journey through this strange lands makes them re evaluate their lives and everything they thought was real.

Thoughts

Told from the point of view of Ross this is an imaginative story of an extraordinary parallel universe peopled by the characters of Ed’s novels.

The book is very well written and descriptive with vivid imagery. The detailed narrative of the fantasy world makes it very easy to imagine.

I liked that the main characters were believably human with their underlying complex characteristics, emotions and foibles. There’s a good mixture of tension and suspense and the extracts from Ed’s novels at the beginning of the chapters was a great addition. Considering this is not my usual reading I enjoyed it a lot.
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on 10 August 2014
This is probably one of the best books I've read this year.

Narration of the story is mostly in the first person, which is my favourite and what I tend to write in myself. There are a couple of sections where the narration slips into third person, but there is an explanation for this change given within the context of the story.

The story centres on a man who has just left the US Army and goes home. Things start very badly for him and only get worse. He is an aspiring author with some minor success. However, after his father's funeral, where he is coerced in to taking up finishing the latest book in his father's fantasy novel series events start to overtake him and he is dragged into the fantasy world created by his father. The fantasy world is actually real and seemingly at risk of destruction.

This was an excellent start to a very promising series. The writing is a breath of fresh air, and the characters are so believable. I was able to connect with all of the main characters and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series.
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on 1 December 2014
One of my favourite fantasy novels. This deserves to sell more copies than the bible & Harry Potter put together. The world Hunt has created will live long in your memory. Trust me, it's awesome.
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on 14 August 2014
Interesting story line, enjoyed reading it, will keep an eye out for this author in the future and would read other books in this series.
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on 28 December 2013
Refreshingly different. Good characters and an unusual setting. I enjoyed this book a lot and am looking forward to the next instalment
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