Tuesday, May 17, 2011

“Soul Born” by Kevin James Breaux (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Order “Soul BornHERE
Read Sample Chapters HERE (PDF)
Read the e-Story “Soul Born Origins: OpalHERE (PDF)
Watch the Book Trailer HERE

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Kevin James Breaux graduated from Temple University with a degree in Fine Arts and is currently working as an IT Professional and published artist with works in Zombie CSU and THEY BITE!. He has also done advertisement and merchandise design work for the first X-Men movie. Soul Born is his debut novel.

PLOT SUMMARY: All Opal wanted was to be respected as a wielder of magic, but her teachers passed her over time and time again. When a mysterious warlord embarks on a conquest to destroy the lands of Illyia, Opal seizes an opportunity to step out from the shadows of her instructors and take her rightful spot among them.

Tala, an alluring young elf, was banished from her tribe, hunted and nearly killed by the beasts that dwell in the deep forests, but more than anything else she is a survivor. Joining forces with an ancient elemental power, Tala finds herself in the center of an unrelenting human war.

Flesh like leather and bone as strong as steel Karn, a veteran from the first kingdom to fall, is fueled by vengeance. While pushing ever headlong into battle, Karn begins to recall memories of another life—ghosts that haunt his dreams.

Through death of soul, their world is born…

CLASSIFICATION: Soul Born is a dark epic fantasy novel reminiscent of the works of James Clemens, Paul S. KempR.A. Salvatore.

FORMAT/INFO: Soul Born is 306 pages long divided over thirty-two titled chapters and a Prologue. Narration is in the third person via Opal, Karn and Tala Silverwolf. Soul Born is the opening volume in the Soul Born Saga with the book ending on a proper note. November 30, 2010 marked the Trade Paperback publication of Soul Born via Dark Quest Books. Cover art is provided by Dan Dos Santos.

ANALYSIS: Soul Born is a book that grabbed my attention because of an interesting blurb that described an “epic dark fantasy novel”, and a great cover by Dan Dos Santos. Of course, it’s what’s on the inside that really matters...

Soul Born is centered around three characters: Opal who is training to become more than just an ordinary mage; Karn, a warrior with a faulty memory who is supposed to fight the evil tyrant warlord, Mustaffa; and Tala Silverwolf, an elf banished from her tribe due to undisclosed reasons, and the key behind unlocking Karn’s past. Thankfully, the three main characters—with all of their motivations, plans and actions—are the main draw of the book. Opal in particular, is a shining star who I believe will be a major factor in the rest of the Soul Born Saga.

Story-wise, Soul Born is well plotted, with surprising twists and revelations, especially the ending and middle of the book where the author reveals certain details about Opal and Karn that will change the reader’s perception of them. There’s also the history of the mages which fuels a major plot point and the meaning behind ‘soul born’ laid bare, while the pacing never lets the reader rest. Prose meanwhile, is a bit bumpy at times, but it doesn’t derail the reading experience.

The major concerning factor for me were the coincidences throughout the book. For example, whenever a character needed to get out of a tight spot or needed a certain power or some other form of aid, the author provided it. This issue is what prevented me from enjoying the book as much as I thought I would.

CONCLUSION: Kevin J. Breaux‘s Soul Born is an interesting debut with some good points and some not-so-good points. Unfortunately, the novel was somewhat of a disappointment for me, but there is definitely potential there that could be further realized in the rest of the Soul Born Saga...

No comments:

Post a Comment