Shadow's Son by: Jon Sprunk review:
A normal comment in my book reviews, pertaining to adult fantasy books, includes mention of the surplus of generic fantasy novels that are packed with tireless exposition. Finding these sorts of fantasy novels becomes common when you're the reader like me with a great interest in fantasy books. Except when you envision exceptional fantasy books, you envision one of George R.R. Martin's brilliant books. Because his books immerse immediately and wisely use certain exposition that pays some importance to the plot.
Shadow's Son was originally discovered by chance through Maria V. Snyder's Myspace Blog. Seeing her review, I gained an immediate interest in the novel. This interest was not developed through my trust alone with Maria V. Snyder's reviews. But also, I noted the appearance of an enigmatic assassin based upon the cover. Knowing well enough my fascination with assassin stories, I decided to take a chance with this novel.
Upon first reading it, you are plunged into the action without any cryptic prologues or verbose environment descriptions. The novel begins with the pivotal figure in the novel and proceeds to the main conflict. More specifically, we are offered expert uses of foreshadowing to help us gather an idea of the novel's conflict. With our adrenal energy tapped and working industriously, the reader flips the pages hurriedly in order to continue the novel's fast paced action. During the entirety of this well fashioned first scene, we are not bombarded with useless facts about the universe itself.
Wisely, the author carefully utilizes this information appropriately and uses it at a rightful spot. Doing so, he enhances the effectiveness of various scenes. The best example that supports my views lies with the manner that Caim's back story is slowly unclouded. Simultaneously, we are presented new revelations about the dominant plot while being made more aware of the subplot of Caim's repressed past. These various plots are handled tactfully by the author who understands the mechanics of story telling. This book's writing style happens to be the antithesis of the represent book of the market.
Instead of fashioning a story that resembles a never ending encyclopedia, he vies for a story that is written in a cinematic manner. By stripping away the unnecessary details, he does this successfully. All throughout the story, the story is told from various perspectives. The main focus upon the development upon the focused character permits the readers to imprint themselves onto these various characters. One of my general rules of good story telling involves emotive writing that desires readers to fully participate their complete selves in. When you are not writing a litany of facts about your universe, you enable yourself as a writer to mainly focus upon the characters and the various conflicts that create the needed tension to attract the reader.
Personally, I felt though certain elements of this story have been used multiple times in many highly recognized works. The author was still able to write a novel that was never pedantic in any way. When aspects of the story's universe were explored, they were tactically placed in important spots to improve the effectiveness of the story. None of these elements pervaded the wrong sequences that would have otherwise stifled the flow of the story. I honestly was greatly engaged in the story's action throughout. Sometimes the psyches of certain characters were not explored deeply enough or key action sequences seemed a little tiresome. Overall though the novel enthralled me which rarely happens to a highly critical individual like myself. For those reasons, I could easily overlook the novel's few shortcomings because the entertainment value of the novel was high. Yes, I did not glean any fascinating pieces of philosophical information or happen to note many sequences of deep introspection. But the novel is neither a novel that wants to wander too long in those areas. It's predominately a rich cinematic experience that begs to be read in one sitting. In all, I highly recommend it to any readers who want to read something that's purely an entertaining story. Readers who abhor fantasy books that are pure drudgery to read will especially love this one.