This one has been sitting on my shelves unread since the dawn of time (or so it feels like) so it was good to finally get around to it! This will also be a quick review because I am currently in Barcelona and let's face it, the beach is calling to me.
I have to admit that I bought this book because it was cheap and had a nice cover, and I guess the blurb sounded alright too. Unfortunately that wasn't enough to guarantee a good read ... and it's usually such a good method of choosing for me!
The concept of this story, while not overly original, was OK. Now that I think about it though, it's actually identical to The Novice by Trudi Canavan in every way imaginable.
The biggest problem I had was that Whates spells everything out for us, bit by excruciating bit. Every action is explained and justified to us through each characters internal dialogue. Mary Sue knew she could kill the beast easily because she had been trained specifically for this situation and always carried a knife on her personage. She also knew she was having curry for dinner because it was Thursday and on Thursdays Gary Stu always makes curry. You get the point.
Things started of promisingly enough, but by the middle of the book, so many potential villains had been introduced, it became ridiculous. There was even some ominous being cloaked in shadow who had been biding its time in the dark to strike ... It was all I could do to not yell out 'LAME!'. By the last third, everything is wrapped up so quickly and with little to no effort on behalf of the protagonist and his helpers that it became nothing less than unimaginative and boring. 'If you just think really hard while I sit here and enhance your powers with my own mystic powers, we should be able stop global warming, bring about world peace and bakes some nice scones for morning tea.' I'm not even kidding.
This isn't really written like a book, but more like a movie. It's like Whates is describing each scene from some kind of Hollywood action/thriller, complete with all the over used tropes and cliches.
I could have stopped reading a number of times, but I decided to persist out of need for a sense of completion. Don't think I'll be buying or reading the two sequels however.