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Jumps the shark spectacularly
on 3 May 2013
I always feel bad writing negative reviews of free books and this one is very nearly there, but has a couple of significant flaws that meant I gave up about 80% of the way through. Firstly, the storyline would fit comfortably in a novella or a couple of chapters, but there's just not enough meat to stretch to this length. It's clearly intended to be the first of a long series (author-speak for "good, steady work"), but that means that relatively trivial events are given far more pages than they warrant, and the "to be continued..." point was fairly obvious from half-way through - or, for that matter, from reading the blurb. Secondly, though, the actions of the protagonist rapidly start becoming very hard to identify with - without spoiling anything that isn't in the summary, the story hinges upon the character's willingness to accept huge upheaval based entirely on the word of a voice in his head. About 75% of the way through, his actions cross the line from being a stretch of the imagination to being downright nuts, and I rapidly lost interest.
For a freebie it's pretty good, but it's not all that far away from being something excellent: it's perhaps the frustration element that leads to the rating. If the series were cut down to size a bit it might be something well worth pursuing, but in this format I'd probably leave it alone.